Do you know how to care for a wound at home?

Find Important, easy to follow instructions for at-home wound care

How do I care for my wound at home?

Caring for a Cut, Abrasion, Minor burn or Scald:

  • Wash your hands. The most important thing you and your caregivers can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands. You can use soap and water, an antimicrobial cleaner like Hibiclens®, or an alcohol-based hand rub. Wash before and after touching your wound.
  • Stop any bleeding by pressing a clean paper towel or clean cloth against the wound for several minutes.
  • After you have stopped the bleeding, rinse the wound with large amounts of clean water or saline.
  • Do not use peroxide, iodine solutions, alcohol, or soap in the wound – this can delay healing.
  • Gently remove any dirt with a clean, moist cloth.
  • Apply a clean dressing. Dressings like the ones that feature Safetac technology promote undistributed wound healing. Dressings keep out germs and protect the wound from injury. A good dressing will keep the wound warm and moist. Dressings should also help absorb fluid that drains from the wound. This drainage can damage the skin around it.
  • A tetanus shot may be advised if you have not had one within 10 years per the CDC.
  • If the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.

What is a chronic wound?

A wound is any break in the skin. Normally the skin heals quickly on its own. Wounds that don’t heal easily are called chronic wounds. They require special care to heal and the attention of a health care provider. Chronic wounds can result from:

  • Surgical wounds that reopen.
  • Skin that breaks down when there’s too much pressure over a bony area (pressure injuries).
  • Injury to the feet or legs from poor circulation (arterial or venous ulcers).
  • Loss of circulation and feeling due to diabetes (diabetic ulcers).

Why isn’t my wound healing faster?

There are many reasons why a wound can take a long time to heal.

Factors that slow wound healing include:

  • Using the wrong type of wound dressing – do not use peroxide, iodine solutions, alcohol, or soap in the wound – this can delay healing.
  • Poor nutrition, smoking, obesity.
  • Infection – signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes or diseases of the liver, kidney, or lungs.
  • Certain treatments and medications, such as chemotherapy or radiation.

 

You should consult a healthcare professional if you believe these things are slowing your wound healing.

How can I help my chronic wound heal faster?

You can help your wound heal if you create the best conditions for healing. This means keeping your wound clean, covered, warm, and moist. Here’s what you should do:

  • Wash your hands. The most important thing you and your caregivers can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands. You can use soap and water, an antimicrobial cleaner like Hibiclens®, or an alcohol-based hand rub. Wash before and after touching your wound.
  • Keep your wound clean. Flush it with water or saline. Remove any visible dirt, glass or debris from the wound.
  • Do not use peroxide, iodine solutions, alcohol, or soap in the wound – this can delay healing.
  • Apply a clean dressing. Dressings like the ones that feature Safetac technology promote undistributed wound healing. Dressings keep out germs and protect the wound from injury. A good dressing will keep the wound warm and moist. Dressings should also help absorb fluid that drains from the wound. Otherwise this drainage could damage the skin around it.
  • Be careful. Protect the wound from trauma or injury. Don’t let anything touch it or bump it.
  • Caring for chronic wounds is a team effort! You should consult a healthcare professional if you think you have a chronic wound in addition to taking care of the wound at home.
  • If the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.

When should I consult a healthcare professional?

If your wound is deep, bleeding a lot or gaps open, then you may need stitches and should consult a health care provider.

Large wounds and burns should be seen by a health care provider.

If the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.

Legal References

  1. White R. A Multinational survey of the assessment of pain when removing dressings. Wounds UK, 2008.
  2. Compared to traditional dry-type gauze. Reference: Nature Publishing Group, Jan 20 1962, Vol 193
    Cross –Microbes larger than 25 nm
  3. Mustoe TA et al. International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, August 2002, Vol 110, No 2.
  4. Data on file
  5. Morris C, Emsley P, Marland E, Meuleneire F, White R. Use of wound dressings with soft silicone adhesive technology. Paediatric Nursing, April 2009, Vol21, No3:38-43
  6. Upton D et al. The impact of atraumatic vs conventional dressings on pain and stress in patients with chronic wounds. Journal of Wound Care, 2012.
  7. Silverstein P et al. An open, parallel, randomized, comparative, multicenter study to evaluate the cost-effectiveness, performance, tolerance, and safety of a silver-containing soft silicone foam dressing (intervention) vs silver sulfadiazine cream. J Burn Care Res. 2011 Nov-Dec;32(6):617-26
  8. Data on File

†. Microbes larger than 25 nm

Join our mailing list

Receive the latest information on product offerings, receive coupons, news and more at home care tips.