Small, manageable wounds can arise at a moment’s notice in your everyday life. From small scratches to basic cuts and even single-stitch wounds, you could easily find yourself needing to practice proper wound care at home.
Whether you need to see a doctor for initial care or not, proper wound care is something you should understand before you need it. With a few simple steps, you can take care of these wounds at home without the need for more serious care down the line.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few basic aspects of at-home wound care, how your wounds heal over time, and what not to do during the healing process.
How your wounds heal
The skin has the ability to heal itself starting immediately after it is cut. The blood quickly begins to clot over the opening, forming a thin scab over the skin’s surface. White blood cells collect near the wound, fighting off any bacteria that may try to infect the area. Red blood cells create the collagen needed to help create a base for new skin to grow. As the new skin develops, the wound shrinks, and the skin cells pull together. Finally, a complete scab covers the area, healing the wound.
To help speed up this process and protect the wound, bandaging is necessary. It’s important to use the right type of bandage for the specific type of wound and to reapply bandages as needed.
How to practice good wound care at home
Taking care of a fresh wound at home doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right techniques and practices, a wound can heal properly over the course of a few days or one to two weeks.
Cleaning the wound is a must. Whether the wound just opened or a new dressing is being applied, washing the wound carefully with soap and water is essential. This cleans out the bacteria and helps prevent infection. A skin-sensitive, moisturizing soap is always the best option, but any type of soap will work for cleaning a wound.
Applying petroleum jelly to the damaged skin is key to helping the wound heal. This substance promotes skin repair by keeping bacteria out and giving the skin helpful nutrients to use in the healing process. While some say ointments and creams are a good option, petroleum jelly has been proven to be the best choice for helping the skin to heal after a cut or scrape.
Covering the wound with a gauze bandage is typically the best option. A doctor may recommend a different type of bandage depending on the wound, but gauze bandages are soft, pliable options that can keep bacteria and moisture away from the wound. Most bandages feature an adhesive, but a tape like Hy-Tape will hold tightly without allowing moisture to affect the wound.
Daily replacement of bandages is commonly needed. This allows the wound the stay clean, remove liquid, and avoid extra skin damage. Bandages secured with Hy-Tape may not need daily changes due to the waterproof nature of the tape and its zinc-oxide for skin sensitivity.
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Practices to avoid when caring for a wound
Just as important to wound care as best practices is knowing how not to handle a wound. Here are a few things to avoid when taking care of a wound at home:
- Avoid hydrogen peroxide – For many years, people cleaned out their wounds with hydrogen peroxide due to its bacteria-eliminating abilities. Today, science shows that hydrogen peroxide is very damaging to the skin and common soaps can do just as well at removing bacteria from a wound.
- Avoid antibiotic ointments – Many people believe that an antibiotic ointment is required in order to keep bacteria from collecting at the site of a wound. However, petroleum jelly has been proven to keep bacteria and other microbes out of a wound just as well.
- Avoid excessive bandage replacement – While it may seem like a good idea to replace a wound bandage as often as possible, this can actually cause more harm than good. Most wound bandages can be replaced every day or two without serious risk of complications.
How to properly secure a bandage
Besides the wound bandage itself, securing the bandage is essential to proper healing. The best way to secure a bandage is with Hy-Tape.
Hy-Tape is specially designed to hold bandages tightly in place, ensuring no slippage. Even though the tape holds firm, it’s also very pliable, moving comfortably with the daily movements of the wearer. Hy-Tape easily peels off without causing further skin damage. The tape feature zinc-oxide and a UPF rating of 50, minimizing scarring.
When you need to take care of a wound at home, consider Hy-Tape for securing the wound dressing. Contact us today to learn more about this skin-sensitive, tight-holding tape.