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First Aid 

Cuts and Scrapes

Most cuts and scrapes can be treated by following the 5 steps below. Seek medical care if the cut or scrape begins to show signs of infection such as redness, drainage, or increasing warmth, pain, or swelling. It is also important to seek medical care if the cut or scrape won’t stop bleeding, if there is a foreign object embedded in the wound, if there is a wound inflicted by a dirty or rusty object, or if there is an infection risk from a human or animal bite. 

  1. Wash your hands, put on gloves, and stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Elevate the wound above the heart if possible to help stop the bleeding. 

  2. Rinse the wound under clean running water while washing the area around the wound with soap and water (use alcohol free wipes when there is no running water available). Pat the area dry with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Do not treat the wound with iodine or hydrogen peroxide. 

  3. Apply antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin) or petroleum jelly to the wound, and cover the wound with an adhesive bandage or sterile gauze held in place with tape. If a rash appears, stop applying ointment. Minor scrapes or scratches may be left uncovered. 

  4. Change the dressing daily or especially when it becomes wet or dirty

  5. Seek medical care to receive a tetanus shot if the wound appears deep or dirty. 


Austin, M., Crawford, R., & Armstrong, V. J. (2014). First aid manual. (G. M. Piazza, Ed.) (5th ed.). DK Publishing.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, October 29). Cuts and scrapes: First aid. Mayo Clinic.

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