Always make sure you have a first aid kit handy in case of outdoor injury.

When it comes to wound care, there are a variety of mistakes people make that worsen their injury. Whether it’s using the wrong dressing, forgetting to check for debris or ignoring a cut, omissions of at-home wound care steps are bound to happen. One of the more serious side effects of failing to efficiently treat an injury is wound infection, which can eventually lead to grave ailments such as skin disease, cell mutation or even disability. Here are some general wound care mistakes to try and avoid so you can ensure that your healing process doesn’t include infection:

Know the characteristics of your wound

Just because you may think a wound is minor it doesn’t mean it won’t escalate into something major. Assuming a wound will simply heal on its own is a big mistake when it comes to increasing your chances of infection. According to the National Institute of Health, the odds of infection are higher if you experience any of the following wounds:

  • Punctures
  • Bites
  • Foot wounds
  • Injuries sustained in dirty areas
  • Sport injuries

Never forget to clean

A vital step in proper wound care is cleaning the injury. This should always take place beforeapplying a dressing otherwise you’re just trapping bacteria or debris in the wound. All it takes to effectively clean a wound at home is to rinse it with running water, look to make sure there aren’t any little specs of dirt and gently removing foreign debris with tweezers. Take a little soap and a washcloth and scrub clean the surrounding skin, and you’ll have greatly reduced your odds of developing a wound infection.

Always cover it up

The longer you leave a wound uncovered, the higher your chances of developing a wound infection. When you leave a cut susceptible to air exposure, it’s essentially like leaving the door open for unwanted particles and bacteria to settle in and make themselves at home. Try not to have you or anyone else breathe directly over the wound as well. Treating an outdoor wound immediately after it happens is crucial, which is why if you’re playing sports or working outside, you should always have a first-aid kit handy.

Major wounds

Whenever you endure an injury that is bigger than a scrape or minor cut, don’t waste any time trying to treat it yourself and get to a healthcare provider. While it’s important to initially stop bleeding and keep the injury covered as much as possible, the more time you waste trying to fix it up yourself, the longer the area is exposed to infection. If you have an object lodged into a body part, never try to take it out yourself and wait for professional medical attention.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.