Inevitably sometime in your life you are bound to suffer from minor injuries in which your skin may cut, scrape or get punctured. Cuts and scrapes are common in children and toddler while playing in yard. Adults can also suffer from minor cuts and bruises while working.
Such injuries break the protective skin barrier. It gives chance for germs, dust etc to enter into the damaged tissue. The damage needs to be dealt with immediately, because there is risk of infection. If cuts and scrapes are not treated in time, it may lead to painful wounds that may take time to heal.
Body has inbuilt mechanism to protect the body from invading organisms which may enter through cuts and scrapes. For this reason, you may observe small amount of fluid leaking at the site of cuts and especially scrapes. This fluid is called serum and has antibodies in it. It helps to kill the bacteria.
The area also becomes red and inflamed due to rush of blood which brings with it lots of white blood cells. These cells are known to fight infective pathogens. Pus forms as bacteria are killed by white blood cells. In cuts there is more bleeding than in scrapes.However, scrapes are more painful than cuts as larger area of nerves is exposed.
Causes Of Cuts And Scrapes
Cuts are typically caused by instruments which have sharp edge; for example a knife or a razor blade, a piece of broken glass. Cuts will bleed profusely if they are deep. They are less painful. Deep cuts can also cause damage to the underlying tissues, muscles, nerves and tendons.
A scrape or an abrasion results when the skin is rubbed against rough surface like a wall or a pavement. Children often suffer from scrapes when they play on ground.The outer skin may or may not be completely ruptured. But because tiny capillaries are damaged, blood may ooze out from the skin.
Natural Home Remedies To Heal Cuts And Scrapes
Most minor cuts and scrapes will heal on their own. It takes at least a week to heal naturally. Skin being the protective layer against germs and infection, even minor cuts and scrapes should not be neglected. Ignoring them no matter how minor they are can leave you vulnerable to infection.
Home remedies are beneficial if the cuts are minor. They help to enhance the healing process and at the same time some home remedies act alternative to antibiotics in a natural way.
- Stop bleeding: Cuts especially bleed a lot. The first thing to do is to put pressure with a clean cloth or tissue. Put pressure for 10 to 15 minutes as blood takes time to clot.
- Once bleeding stops clean the area with water and soap to remove all dirt and foreign bodies.
- If cuts and scrapes are in hand, elevate it above the level of heart to slow down the blood flow.
- Draw the edges of wound together and hold close with a plaster strips.
- Cover the wound area with sterilized gauze. If it is not available cover with a clean cloth.
- Apply aloe vera gel. Apply the sap derived from leaves of aloe vera plant. It is a natural antibacterial agent. It soothes and also helps to reduce inflammation.
- Apply honey to the affected area. Honey has qualities that help to protect against infection. It is a safe alternative to any antibacterial ointment.
- Garlic is another folk remedy to enhance healing of cuts and scrapes. Apply crushed garlic on cut. Be careful to remove it after five to ten minutes. Garlic sometimes irritates the skin.
- Apply gauze soaked in solution prepared by mixing 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in two cup of water. Apply it two times in a day. It is especially useful when scabs are formed. Just soak the area without picking up the scabs. It helps to get rid of scabs in a gentle way.
Minor cuts and scrapes heal in one week.