Feel Better Fast
- Clean with warm, soapy water to remove germs and debris.
- Keep the cut moist; this is key to promoting the rapid growth of new skin cells. Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment. If the cut is in a place where the ointment can rub off or get dirty, cover it with a bandage.
- Use peroxide or alcohol; these dry skin and stall healing.
- Pick at a cut or a scab. This increases irritation, which delays healing, and it can introduce bacteria into the wound. Also, picking can leave scars.
Call your doctor if…
- The cut is deep (you can’t bring the edges together by applying gentle pressure, for example) or the skin around the wound is jagged (in which case you may need stitches).
- There is a discharge or red streaks around the wound or the skin around the cut feels hot. These are signs of infection, and you’ll need antibiotics.