- Stop bleeding by pressing a clean, soft cloth against the wound for a few minutes. If the wound is bleeding a lot, you’ll need to hold pressure for longer (sometimes up to 15 minutes). If the wound is small, the bleeding should stop in a few minutes as the blood’s clotting factors do their work to seal the wound.
- As you keep the pressure on and the wound, avoid the urge to peek. Lifting the bandage may start the bleeding again.
- Clean the wound. Run warm water over the cut for 5 minutes. Then use soap to gently wash the skin around the cut or scrape thoroughly. If there’s dirt or debris in the wound (like gravel from a scrape), remove it if you can — a soft, damp cloth can help. Cleaning the wound helps get infection-causing bacteria out of the injured area. If you can’t get all the dirt out, call your doctor’s office.
- Dry the area lightly and put a light layer of an antiseptic cream or spray on the cut to kill germs.
- Cover the wound with gauze or other type of bandage. A bandage helps prevent germs from getting into the wound and causing an infection. If the bandage gets wet or dirty, change it right away.
- Each day take off the bandage and gently wash the injury. Watch for signs of infection.
To prevent infection and reduce scarring, don’t pick at the scab or skin around the wound.