Wound Wonders   

Wound Wonders

Slicing onions, falling down, even paper cuts: Wounds happen. And when cuts or other wounds occur, simple steps can help speed the body's natural healing process. Top Wellness Health sent a reminder on excellent wound care tips.

• Cover, press, clean. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing and apply pressure to the wound to halt the bleeding. Use tap water, bottled water or sterile saline to wash the wound. Seek medical help if you think you need stitches, you can't clean the wound, or if the injury was caused by an animal or human bite. You should also seek medical attention if it has been 10 years or longer since your last tetanus shot.

• Medicate. Apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the wound. Cover the wound with a heavy lubricant (such as petroleum jelly) to create a barrier to keep the wound moist. Don't use betadine, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because they all interfere with healing.

• Keep area moist. Experts have turned their backs on older advice to keep wounds dry and exposed to the open air. Instead, they now recommend that individuals cover the wound with a sterile dressing to create a warm, moist environment, which is the best condition for wound healing.

• Be well dressed. The best kind of dressing is one that keeps the wound moist and the surrounding tissue dry. Use a nonstick dressing and gently change it every day or two. Try to keep the wet scab intact. Wounds should normally stay covered for about 5 days or until the surface layers have healed. Don't use plain gauze to cover the wound. It can stick to the scab and cause re-injury when it's removed.

• Don't scratch. Scratching the healing wound can re-open it. Remember, itching is a normal (if frustrating) part of the healing process.

• Eat right, don't smoke. Healthy lifestyles promote wound healing.

• Watch it. If the wound shows signs of infection (redness, increased pain of swelling, yellow or green discharge), seek medical attention.

Happy reading,

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