All About Minor Cuts And Stitches
The skin is the largest organ of your body. It has many functions to maintain your health and well being over time. The skin regulates the body temperature, maintains body fluids, and keep out harmful bacteria. Minor cuts and scratches are areas of damage to the surface of the skin. A cut can go through the surface of the skin into the muscle tissues. But a scratch is a surface damage that doesn’t penetrate the lower tissues. Minor cuts and scratches can bleed, turn red, become infected, and leave a scar in the process. Here are some important facts about minor cuts, scratches, and stitches.
Causes Of Minor Cuts And Scratches
Cuts and scratches happen when your skin comes into contact with a sharp object. In fact, the skin is torn away due to encounters such as banging against a hard or sharp object, falling or being cut by a sharp object. All of us get cuts and scratches at times. But kids are more prone to such injuries than adults. On the other hand, people who have delicate skins and older people are likely to get cuts and scratches due to various reasons.
The Symptoms Of Cuts And Scratches
A minor cut or scratch will heal on its own if you keep the area clean. In fact, the chances of infections are low when the area is clean. A cut or scratch becomes complicated due to the actions of bacteria and other germs. This happens when the area is not clean. Here are some signs of infection that you need to keep an eye on:
. Severe pain in the region
. A discharge or pus coming out of the cut or scratch
. Redness or swelling in the affected area
If you observe or feel any of these signs and symptoms, you may need to visit a walk-in clinic in your town. The doctor may examine the cut and decide on the best course of action to treat it. Most of the time, the doctor may decide to stitch the cut if it is wide open and has a chance of being infected with bacteria. An antibiotic cream or oral antibiotics are also effective treatments for this condition. There is a certain category of people who need to take special care of cuts and scrapes such as:
. Those who take medications that make their skin fragile and dry.
. People who have a weakened immune system due to whatever reason.
. Those who have diabetes or take medications to decrease blood clotting.
The cuts and scrapes of such individuals don’t heal easily. Be extra cautious of any cuts and scratches if you fall under any of the aforementioned categories.
The Risk Factors For Cuts And Scrapes
Even though minor cuts and scratches can happen to any individual, people who are in a combative situation or those who handle sharp objects are more likely to get them. Kids are more prone to the condition because they have less control over their bodies and are more active than adults.
Diagnosing And Treating Cuts And Scratches
A cut or scrape can be easily diagnosed through visual inspection. But some minor cuts such as a paper cut may require a sharp eye or a magnifying glass to see. If the injury is serious, you may not be able to tell if it needs stitches or not. Taking the patient to a walk-in clinic is the best option under such circumstances. The health care provider will examine the wound and determine whether it needs stitches or not.
Here are some important signs that a cut requires an emergency department visit:
. The cut or wound is deep enough to expose the yellow subcutaneous fatty tissue or the dermis of the skin.
. The injury is a result of an animal or human bite.
. The cut is located across a joint – which can result in damaged nerves, ligaments, and tendons.
. The cut is gaping open where you can’t use gentle pressure and press the edges together.
. The wound is due to a high-pressure impact from an object like a bullet.
. The cut is a result of a contaminated, rusty or dirty object.
. Bleeding doesn’t stop.
If the cut is due to a bite or a dirty object, you should immediately seek medical attention by rushing the patient to a walk-in clinic for treatments. The doctor may examine the laceration and decide whether you need stitches or not. On the other hand, the medical practitioner may give a tetanus booster shot depending on the vaccination history of the patient.
Stitches Or Glue
Today, there are several alternatives to stitches for cuts and wounds. There are special tapes and glue that are being used in place of stitches. Your doctor is the best person to decide on the most effective treatment method for the wound. Take the patient to a walk-in clinic for immediate treatments if his/her has a minor cut or wound on the skin. Go to the emergency for a sever cut or wound. Stitching a wound has its own advantages. In fact, the doctor can line up the edges of the wound cleanly and squarely when using stitches for it. The stitches will keep the edges in place until the cut or wound heals. This is very important if the cut is located in a part of your body that moves regularly. On the other hand, if the cut or wound is uneven, stitches are the most effective treatment method.
Most stitches dissolve on their own while some stitches need to be cut after a few days. Stitching the skin is painful – especially for kids. Hence, an anesthetic agent is used to numb the area before placing the stitches on the skin. Although most people think that stitches will result in scars, the reverse is true when dealing with a large wound.
If you or your loved ones experience minor cuts and wounds, you should go to our walk-in clinic. No appointment is necessary.