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Check Your Symptoms
Minor cuts usually can be treated at home. If you do not have an increased chance of getting an infection, you do not have other injuries, and you do not need a tetanus shot or evaluation by a doctor, you can clean and bandage a cut at home. Home treatment can help prevent infection and promote healing.
Stop the bleeding with direct pressure to the wound. For more information, see how to stop bleeding.
Nonprescription products are available to be applied to the skin to help stop mild bleeding of minor cuts, lacerations, or abrasions. Before you buy or use one, be sure to read the label carefully and follow the label's instructions when you apply the product.
After you have stopped the bleeding, check your symptoms to determine if and when you need to see your doctor.
Clean the wound
Clean the wound as soon as possible to reduce the chance of infection, scarring, and tattooing of the skin from dirt left in the wound.
Stitches, staples, or skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches)
Determine whether your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. For more information, see Are Stitches, Staples, or Skin Adhesives Necessary?
Your doctor will tell you how to take care of your stitches or staples and when to return to have them removed. Skin adhesives usually do not need to be removed, but your doctor may wish to see you to check on the wound. Be sure to carefully follow your doctor's instructions. If you are unsure of how to care for your wound or have questions, call your doctor for instructions.
Consider applying a bandage
Most cuts heal well and may not need a bandage. You may need to protect the cut from dirt and irritation. It is important to clean the cut thoroughly before bandaging it to reduce the risk of infection occurring under the bandage.
An ice or cold pack may help reduce swelling and bruising. Never apply ice directly to a wound or the skin. This could cause tissue damage.
Elevate the injured area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
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