For most adults, it is rare to fall and skin a knee or elbow, but it does happen. And as you may have experienced from childhood, the accidental trip or spill can lead to lifelong scarring if open wounds are not properly cleaned and bandaged.
The depth of a wound is the primary indicator of whether or not a cut will turn into a scar, and deep cuts come with a higher probability of leaving a trace. In the instance of a gaping wound with lots of (apologies) blood, it is vital to see a doctor, as stitches may be necessary.
It’s the superficial cuts with minimal bleeding that can be cared for at home. All you need is a gentle cleanser, a clean towel and a bandage or plaster. Follow these seven simple steps to effectively treat an open wound on yourself or another:
1. Wash hands with soap and dry before touching the wound.
2. If you have disposable gloves on hand, it doesn’t hurt to wear a pair.
3. Rinse the wound with running water until bleeding subsides
4. Cleanse the affected area by washing skin around the cut with a gentle cleanser like
Cicaplast Lavant B5. It contains copper, zinc and manganese, whose antibacterial properties work to clean and disinfect broken skin without causing irritation.
5. After washing, rinse away the cleanser with running water.
6. With a clean towel, gently pat the area until it is dry.
7. Dress the wound with a sterile pad and bandage tape, or a plaster.
It’s best to attend to open wounds immediately to prevent infection and accelerate healing. Since it is impossible to predict when an accident will happen, La Roche Posay recommends keeping a wound dressing kit readily available at home for those unforeseen skin abrasions.