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A Smart Guide to Clean A Wound

February 03, 2020 3 min read

A Smart Guide to Clean A Wound

a smart guide how to clean a wound
It is equally important to keep wounds clean in order to prevent an infection developing from contamination and subsequent colonization. That’s why if you or your child gets a cut, scrape, or burn, it’s important to clean the wound properly right away.

Following are the steps you could take:

First, Wash Your Hands

wash hand
Use soap and water or hand sanitizer to clean your hands, if possible put on disposable gloves. Do this before you touch your wound or treat someone else’s burn, cut, or scrape which further help prevent infections.

Secondly, Apply Gentle Pressure

apply pressure to the wound

Skip this step for burns but if the wound is bleeding, take note of the following.
Use a clean cloth or sterile gauze to gently press on the wound until bleeding stops except for small cuts and scrapes may not require pressure. Raise the affected part. If blood oozes through the cloth or gauze, leave the covering on the wound. Place another clean piece on top and continue to apply pressure.
Consider medical attention right away if:

  • The wound was caused by a human or animal bite
  • The wounded child is under a year old
  • The wound happened on the face or genital area
  • The cut is deep, gaping, or across a joint
  • Bleeding is severe or doesn’t stop with gentle pressure
  • The wound has jagged edges
  • The wound was caused by a dirty object or was the result of a
  • Projectile or something impaling the skin.

    Third Step, Rinse with Water

    rinse wound with water

    To thoroughly clean a simple cut or scrape. Just follow these steps:

    • Rinse the wound in clear water to loosen and remove dirt and debris.
    • Use a soft washcloth and mild soap to clean around the wound. Placing the soap in the wound might hurt and cause irritation.
    • Use tweezers to remove any dirt or debris that still appears after washing. Clean the tweezers first with isopropyl alcohol. Call a doctor if the wound can’t be cleaned.
    • Rinse the burned area under cool (not cold) water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Or, place a cool cloth on the burn for the same length of time. See your doctor if any large blisters form.

    Next, Use an Antibiotic Cream or Ointment

    apply ointment or cream to the wound

    Over-the-counter skin antibioticcream or ointment, help keep the skin moist and ward off infection. It’s not always necessary to use these if you have a minor cut or scrape. But it can boost your body’s natural healing process and reduce scarring. Doctors may recommend using a topical antibiotic if you have burn blisters that break open.

    Some people are allergic to certain ingredients in these products. If a rashes and irritation persists, stop using the cream or ointment.

    Lastly, Wrap the Wound

    place bandage to the wound

    You need not to bandage every boo-boos. For minor scrape or cut, clean it and leave it alone. Otherwise, place a clean, sterile, non-stick bandage on the wound after cleaning it. This helps keep out germs.

    Tip: Paper tape may be less irritating to sensitive skin. Change the bandage at least once a day or when it's wet or dirty.

    Rule of Thumb: Always cover large wounds.

    Be extra careful to cover any cuts or wounds on areas that tend to get dirty or germy, like your hands or feet. Bandage a wound that would rub on clothing, such as a cut on your knee.

    The Aftermath

    Don’t pick at any scabs -- they’re part of the healing process. Picking at them can leave a scar.
    Call your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms.

    • Unpleasant odor when cleaning the wound
    • Unusual or increased drainage
    • Fever or chills
    • Pain that gets worse
    • Skin around the wound feels war
    • Increased redness or swelling

    If you showed any signs on the aforementioned symptoms, consult your doctor. And to avoid these from happening, take prevention.


    How Should I Clean a Wound?. WebMD. Published 2019. Accessed February 11, 2020.

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