It's human nature to avoid contact with sharp objects because we know they can cause us an ordeal of pain, bleeding and scars. However, when accidents happen, you may be left caring for a laceration wound.

Here's your quick guide to laceration treatment and prevention:

laceration on forehead Lacerations are open wounds caused by sharp objects.

What are lacerations?

This type of open wound occurs when a sharp object cuts or tears the skin. According to Healthline, laceration wounds are often the result of accidents with knives, tools or machinery. Extensive bleeding is possible, especially with deep lacerations.

How do you treat a laceration?

Laceration treatment varies depending on the severity of the cut and intensity of the bleeding. Don't hesitate to seek medical help for both minor and severe cases, but you can also follow these steps to treat a laceration wound on your own, as suggested by Verywell Health:

  1. Wash your hands. If the wound occurred in a place where you can clean your hands, always do so before touching the affected area to avoid infection.
  2. Control the bleeding. Apply direct pressure to the laceration, and try to hold it above heart level until the bleeding stops – generally for about 15 minutes. If you can't control the blood loss, seek immediate medical assistance.
  3. Wash and disinfect the wound. Use mild soap and warm water to clean the laceration and surrounding skin. If bleeding starts again, repeat the previous step before doing anything else.
  4. Determine if stitches are necessary. If the laceration wound is especially deep or wide, you may need to go to the hospital for stitches. The wound may heal without them, but stitches can promote faster healing, plus prevent infection and scarring.
  5. Cover the laceration. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area, and then cover the wound with sterile gauze. Change this dressing daily, and clean the laceration each time you do so.

Lacerations can be painful, so you may want to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to battle the discomfort. However, Healthline advised avoiding painkillers that contain aspirin, because they can cause or prolong bleeding in the wounded area.

Can you prevent a laceration?

Wear protective clothing or equipment when participating in outdoor and sports activities or operating machinery, and be careful when working with knives or other kitchen tools. Oftentimes lacerations are unavoidable mistakes, but you can prevent complications by looking out for signs of infection – such as redness, swelling or drainage – and contacting your doctor immediately with any concerns.

In the event that you need laceration wound care supplies pronto, talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue for smart delivery of the products your treatment requires.