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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Wounds

Overview
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common name

Abrasion, cut, gash, graze, laceration, lesion, scrape (Eng.); sugat, hiwa, gasgas, galos (Fil.); samad (Ceb.)

wound is an injury to a part or tissue of the body, caused by physical trauma and characterized by tearing, cutting, piercing, or breaking of the tissue.

Types of wounds:

  • Abrasions are caused by scraping the skin's outer layers. Bleeding is usually minimal. Often, there is foreign matter (such as dirt or gravel) embedded in the skin.
  • Incisions are caused by sharp objects (knives, broken glass, metal edges). The amount of bleeding depends on the depth and extent of the cut.
  • Lacerations are jagged, irregular cuts or tears of the skin. The deeper and more irregular the laceration, the greater the chance of infection.
  • Punctures are caused by an object piercing the skin layers and creating a small hole. Infections are common, due to the difficulty of cleaning the puncture site.

Normally wounds are completely healed within 2 to 3 weeks but it still depends on its severity. It is important to watch for signs of infection during the healing time. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

Symptoms
Risk Factors
  • Animal or human bites
  • Scrapes from falling
  • Sharp objects
  • Splinters
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Weapons
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Antiseptics are a diverse class of drugs which are applied to skin surfaces or mucous membranes for their anti-infective effects to prevent or limit infections. Antiseptics are not known to interact with any other medicines. However, they should not be used together with any other topical cream, solution, or ointment. Drugs: benzalkonium chloride, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, povidone iodine.
  • Topical antibiotics are medicines applied to the skin to kill bacteria. They are available in many forms including creams, ointments, powders and sprays. Bacitracin, neomycin, mupirocin and polymyxin B are examples of widely used topical antibiotics. Only minor cuts, scrapes, and burns should be treated with topical antibiotics. These should not be used on large areas of skin or on open wounds nor should they be used to treat diaper rash in infants or incontinence rash in adults. Drugs: bacitracin zinc, deproteinized calf blood extract, gentamicin, mupirocin, neomycin, nitrofurazone, polymixin B sulfate, silver sulfadiazine, sodium fusidate/fusidate sodium/fusidic acid.
  • Medicated plasters/tapes are used to protect the wound against infection. These absorb fluid from wounds to promote healing.
Treatment and Management
  • Clean wounds with cool running water and mild soap for at least 5 minutes to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria.
  • Keep wounds moist, it can help wounds to heal faster.
  • Apply a thin layer of antibiotics. Keeping wounds clean can help prevent infection.
  • Protect wounds with a bandage. Always clean a wound before bandaging to reduce the risk of infection.

Caring for an open wound:

  • Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean, absorbent cloth.
  • If the blood soaks through, apply a second bandage on top. Don't take off the first bandage; this will disturb the clotting that has already taken place.
  • If bleeding does not stop, raise the wound above heart level.
  • Once bleeding stops clean the wound gently with soap and water, or just water. It is very important to get all debris or dirt out. Apply an antibiotic ointment and wrap the wound firmly in a cloth or a bandage. Do not cut off circulation!
Home Remedies
  • Aloe and aloe-containing preparations have been found to accelerate wound healing. Studies show Aloe to be more effective than sulfadiazine and salicylic acid creams in promoting wound healing and reducing wound bacterial counts.
  • Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties. It is applied topically to cuts, stings, and burns without irritating sensitive tissues.
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