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How to treat minor cuts and scrapes

Q. What is the best way to manage minor cuts and scrapes? Do I need to use rubbing alcohol or peroxide?

A. Minor cuts and scrapes are common during childhood. Initially, wash the wound with running water and soap. Stronger solutions such as alcohol, peroxide and iodine are recommended because they may irritate the skin – and they are unnecessary.

Once you’ve cleaned the wound, apply pressure to control the bleeding. Most wounds can then be left uncovered. However, if the wound is in an area that is likely to get dirty, cover it with a bandage during waking hours.

Deep cuts may need medical attention. Some indications that a wound may need a more sophisticated closure or medical attention include:

• Wounds on the face.

• Deep cuts on the hand or fingers.

• Animal or human bites.

• Cuts with muscle or fat exposed.

• Bleeding that is heavy or difficult to stop.

• Gaping wounds.

• Cuts that are dirty or caused by a rusty object.

• If the injured person has not had a tetanus shot within the last five years.

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