Keeping a fresh wound clean is very important to ensure proper healing.

When it comes to bandaging wounds, there’s no definite answer as it pertains to small injuries. What kind of wound care products and dressings needed depends on the nature of the injury, so here are some basic guidelines. However, for serious wounds, your best bet is to consult with the doctor who treated you about how to care for it.

When you have a wound

Whether it’s a scuffed knee or a cut finger, you’re bound to have a minor injury at some point. These incidents tend to be more annoying than anything, especially when you hurt a body part that you use often. You don’t realize how much you use things like your left pinky finger until you can’t use it for an extended period. Make sure you clean the wound with cool water before you do anything else. Use sterilized tweezers to remove any dirt or debris out of the wound. Contrary to popular belief, though rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide sterilize a wound, they can also irritate the wound and can slow down the healing process.

Dress it up?

If a wound is in an area that gets dirty frequently – like your hands – or is irritated by clothing – most commonly your knee – then bandage it up. Be sure not to use bandages made with antiseptics or antibiotics on them. If you’d like to use Neosporin or any other type of antibiotic ointment to prevent the wound from sticking, only make use of a very small amount. Keeping a wound on body parts like this properly moisturized is beneficial, because it slows the formation of scabs, which can limit mobility. Gauze is a good way to keep the wound moist. It’s easy to change and doesn’t limit mobility as much as an adhesive bandage might.

Now you have a scab

A scab is a natural barrier to the elements. It keeps bacteria out of the wound and keeps it from becoming infected. However, a scab can hinder the formation of new cells, slowing down recovery and raising the chances of scar formation. Once the scab hardens completely, do not pick at it. The wound beneath isn’t fully healed yet, and messing with the natural bandage will reopen the wound and leave it prone to wound infection.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients.