Cleaning wounds and grazes thoroughly is vital to reduce the risk of infection. Proper wound care can prevent scarring and promote optimal wound healing.
If you've suffered a cut, before applying a plaster make sure you carefully clean your wound first. In this article, learn how to clean a wound and how to disinfect a cut using Elastoplast products.
How to clean a wound
It's important to learn how to clean a cut or graze in case you or your child require treatment. Wounds should be cleaned and bandaged as soon as possible. For minor wounds, you should be able to do this yourself.
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
Wear disposable gloves if possible - clean, covered hands prevent infections. If you're treating someone else, ensure they're sitting or laying down.
- If bleeding, apply gentle pressure.
Carefully press on the wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Small cuts or scrapes may not require pressure.
- Rinse the wound under running tap water.
This loosens the skin and removes initial layers of debris.
- Clean the wound with Elastoplast Wound Spray.
Spray the entire wound area from a distance of about 10cm to remove dirt and visible particles.
- Gently pat dry the wound and surrounding skin area using a clean towel or cloth.
Avoid using anything fluffy like a cotton ball or swab, as strands of material can get stuck inside the wound.
- Apply a plaster or sterile dressing to prevent bacteria from entering the wound.
If blood soaks through, leave it in place, apply pressure and add another dressing.
Don't try to remove anything embedded in the wound. Learn more in 'When to see a doctor about a wound' below.
When changing your plaster or wound dressing, you should only clean the cut again if there are signs of infection, the wound contains debris, or it's visibly contaminated with faecal material. When a wound is infected, wound cleansing should take place at each dressing change. Learn how to treat an infected cut.
Why is wound care important?
Which wounds should be cleansed?
Regular cleansing is also recommended for the treatment of chronic and post-operative wounds as per doctor’s instruction. A chronic wound is defined by the International Wound Infection Institute as “a wound that has a slow progression through the healing phases, or shows delayed, interrupted or stalled healing due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors that impact on the individual and their wound”.
How to disinfect a cut with Elastoplast Wound Spray
Household disinfectants should not be used on damaged skin. Since ‘disinfection’ refers to the destruction of microorganisms on the surface of non-living objects, the term is misleading in the context of wound care because these products may not only kill bacteria but also harm living skin cells. Wound cleansing solutions should reduce the number of microorganisms without harming human tissue.
Polihexanide (PHMB) is a modern substance which is used in hospitals around the world and widely recommended for the cleansing and decontamination of wounds. It is effective against a broad spectrum of germs and bacteria and at the same time it’s well tolerated by skin and tissue.
Why you shouldn’t use alcohol to clean wounds
Also, alcohol not only destroys bacteria but also living skin cells. Experts recommend using products that are free of alcohol, like the Elastoplast Wound Spray.
When to see a doctor about a wound
While the advice above should help clean your wound as part of an optimal healing process, you should seek medical advice if your wound:
- will not stop bleeding
- has an object inserted in it
- is very deep or large
- has not showed any signs of healing after one month
- is too painful for you to be able to clean it
- was caused by a bite (either animal or human)
- is located near to a major blood vessel or joint
- shows signs of infection (has pus coming out or is red and swollen)
Please note that, although these were compiled with great care, the tips and advice given on this website by no means substitute medical advice and treatment. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult a doctor and follow medical advice regardless of what you have learned on this website.
Always read carefully and follow the instructions for use or the leaflets of our products. For further information about our products, please contact us via email at ConsumerRelationsUK@Beiersdorf.com