– Accidents happen when you least expect them. Cuts, scrapes, scratches and burns - they're inconvenient and uncomfortable. That's why it's important to have a well-stocked first aid kit with material dressings, pads and tape to keep them covered so they can heal properly. Why should you cover a wound? It protects it from dirt and bacteria that can enter the wound and cause infection. An uncovered wound that becomes infected can spread to surrounding tissue and is more likely to scar.
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To dress a minor wound, health professionals usually recommend that you first irrigate it with clear water to remove any dirt and debris. Then cleanse the surrounding area with mild soap and water. Now you're ready to cover your wound. The dressing or cover you use must be sterile. What are your options? Choose from a variety of sterile dressings, first aid tape, gauze and pads specifically made for wound care. Some dressings stick to wounds and make it harder for them to heal. Non-stick pads attach securely without sticking. They provide a barrier to reduce the risk of infection while still allowing the wound to "breathe." Some have antimicrobial activity to help keep infection-causing bacteria in check.
For larger wounds, large, sterile pads offer layers of cushioning to comfortably cover wounds and shield them against re-injury. These thick gauze pads quickly absorb fluids to help keep wounds clean and dry. What about showering? Some dressings peel off quickly when they touch water. Gauze pads with special water-defense technology keep wounds dry even when showering.
Other Wound Care Options
Ouch! Burns hurt! Moist burn pads promote rapid healing while reducing the risk of scar formation. These moist, sterile pads won't stick to a burn or wound when you take it off.
To cover larger areas and protect them from infection, reach for an antimicrobial bandage roll for maximum absorbency and added antimicrobial protection. It's ideal for large wounds on a leg or arm. Cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds can bleed extensively, especially if you're taking aspirin or a blood thinner. Clotting sponges with ionic silver stop bleeding fast. Simply place a clotting sponge over a bleeding wound and apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Sterile packings with calcium alginate are also made to stop bleeding quickly. They're appropriate for cuts, scrapes, other minor wounds as well as nosebleeds.
Keep your first aid kit stocked and you'll be prepared for minor emergencies. If you have a deep puncture wound or a gaping wound, see your doctor since you may need sutures and a tetanus booster shot. If you're up-to-date on your tetanus vaccine and have a minor cut, scrape or burn, a little first aid at home may be all you need. Always watch for signs of infection - redness, swelling, increased pain, fever or thick drainage from the wound and see your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
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