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How Treat a Cut in 6 Simple Steps

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Cuts can be scary for children and upsetting for adults, too, but minor cuts can usually be cared for at home. Here’s how to treat a cut so you can get back into action.

How to treat a cut
  • Wash your hands: Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water to help avoid infection. Wear disposable gloves if you have them.
  • Stop any bleeding: If the cut is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth for 5-10 minutes. Resist interrupting the pressure to check. If bleeding continues after 10 minutes, call your doctor.

Cover that cut with BAND-AID® Brand SKIN-FLEXTM Bandages. Designed to move like a second skin and dries almost instantly.

  • Clean the cut: Thoroughly rinse and clean the cut and the surrounding area with mild soap and water. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine-based products as they can further irritate the injured tissue.
  • Apply an antibiotic: Discourage infection by applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the cut: A bandage helps protect the cut and keeps bacteria out. Change the bandage at least once a day, and when it gets wet or dirty.
  • Watch for any signs of infection: If the cut isn’t healing, is swollen, hot and red, or if pain increases, call your doctor.

Need an antibiotic ointment? Try NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar antibiotic ointment

When to see a doctor first:

  • If the cut seems very deep, is more than a half-inch long, is gaping open or has jagged edges
  • If it’s a puncture wound or you suspect a deeper injury, like a broken bone
  • If you can’t clean the cut properly or suspect glass or dirt is trapped inside
  • If the cut is on the face, or close to the eyes
  • If the cut is from being bitten by an animal, or a human
  • If your child has not had a tetanus shot within the last 5 years, or is not immunized

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017

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