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How to treat cuts and grazes – Cut yourself or suffered from a graze? Learn how to treat a wound so that your skin can recover quickly.

7 min. read
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What kind of wound is it?

Almost any area of the body can suffer from a cut, graze or laceration. They typically occur when preparing food, washing dishes or working with machinery. A cut from a sharp knife or piece of glass can be startling, but fortunately the most common everyday injuries are minor wounds. Many cuts and grazes can easily be treated at home with a plaster and proper wound care.


A cut with its dehiscent wound edges
A cut is an area of severed skin that has been penetrated with a sharp edge, and results from some form of trauma. This could be caused by an object such as a knife, a small tool or the edge of a sheet of paper.

As the skin is fully broken, the wound will often bleed and have slightly gaping wound edges. Cuts can happen anywhere on the body and can leave a scar. Learn more about handling knives.


A graze or abrasion extending to nerve endings
In contrast to a cut, a graze takes place when just the top layers of skin are scraped off. Grazes, also called abrasions, are usually a harmless scrape of the upper skin layers that occurs after falling on the knees, hands or elbows.

Grazes can also form from scratching against a rough surface, with some skin subsequently coming off. Abrasions can be painful since the injury often extends to the many fine nerve endings beneath the skin.

How to treat a cut or graze

The Elastoplast Wound Care Routine


1. Cleanse

Cleansing the wound from dirt and bacteria is an essential first step to enable optimal healing. To prevent wound infections, spray the Elastoplast Wound Spray from a distance of approximately 10cm onto the entire wound area. Repeat if necessary, then gently pat dry the area around the wound.

Important: A minor wound will soon stop bleeding. If it continues, apply more gauze pads, keep pressure on the wound and seek medical advice.

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2. Protect

Next, it’s important to protect the wound from external influences like dirt and bacteria to enable undisturbed healing. Cover your wound with Elastoplast sterile wound dressing that best suits your needs. Observe your wound and change the plaster or dressing daily unless you’ve been recommended to do otherwise by your doctor. You might find this Wound Dressing Know-how article useful.

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3. Heal

Help your wound heal safely, quickly and with a lower risk of scarring. Apply Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment regularly until your wound has healed completely. Carefully apply a thin film one to two times per day. Make sure the opening of the tube does not get in contact with your wound. Repeat regularly until the healing is completed. The Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment can be used on open minor superficial wounds and at any stage of the healing process. If necessary, cover the wound with a plaster, dressing or compress. 

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Tips for treating wounds

As well as following the Elastoplast Wound Care Routine to help prevent infections, the advice below will help you heal cuts and grazes quickly:

  • Stay calm and reassure the patient, even if there is a lot of bleeding. Decide if the casualty needs medical aid, and seek advice if you are not sure.
  • If you’re treating a child, explain that what you are doing might be a little painful but they will soon feel better.
  • Make sure you wash your hands before attending to the wound or applying plasters or dressings. Alternatively, wear disposable surgical gloves – this will reduce the risk of an infected cut.
  • Stop the bleeding by applying a little pressure to the cut with a non-stick pad, sterile gauze or clean tea towel. Minor wounds will soon stop bleeding, so maintain pressure for one or two minutes.
  • If the bleeding continues, apply more gauze pads and keep pressure on the wound and seek medical advice. Elevate the wound above the level of the heart to slow the flow of blood.
  • Clean the wound carefully, wiping away any dirt and grit. Use a clean cotton cloth sprayed with disinfectant or rinse with cold water, then pat area dry before applying a clean dressing. Do not remove embedded objects – leave that to medical staff.
  • Disinfect, then cover the injured area with an appropriate plaster, compress or an adhesive bandage. Keep all cuts clean and change dressing regularly.
    If the wound is very painful in the first couple of days, take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Heal cuts and grazes quickly

Dr. Rainer Wolber from Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG
Elastoplast Fast Healing will create moist wound healing conditions
Did you know that you can speed up wound healing? Using the Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment, which promotes up to two times faster healing and can be used in all stages of wound healing. 

A moist healing environment has been clinically proven to aid and speed up the natural wound healing process. Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment creates a breathable film that protects the wound from external influences while preventing the wound from drying out. This is clinically proven to promote faster wound healing and reduce the risk of scarring.

The Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment is very skin friendly. The gentle formula is dermatologically tested* and is suitable for babies, children and sensitive skin.

Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment is free of colorants, fragrances and animal-derived substances (vegan). The ointment can be combined with Elastoplast standard plasters, such as Fabric, Sensitive, and Water Resistant as well as kids plasters.
*Skin tolerability dermatologically tested.



No. It is a wound care myth that keeping minor cuts and grazes uncovered helps them to heal faster. The opposite is true. Research shows that covered wounds heal more efficiently and with a reduced risk of infection. Elastoplast products provide safe protection until the wound is completely healed. Learn more about Wound Healing and Elastoplast silver technology.


Minor wounds should start to heal within a few days, but we recommend you contact a medical professional if:

  • The wound is deep and causes major bleeding
  • The wound shows signs of an infected cut such as redness, warmth, pain and swelling
  • There are foreign objects embedded in the wound, like a splinter of wood or glass
  • The wound is longer than 2cm or more than 6mm deep
  • In the case of an animal or human bite or contact with animal blood
  • The wound is in the area of the face
  • A tetanus vaccination may be needed
  • At any time you have questions or are uncertain

Visit your nearest accident and emergency department as soon as possible if:

  • The bleeding doesn't stop.
  • The bleeding is coming from an artery (blood will be spurting from the wound)
  • You have a severe cut on your face
  • The cut is located over a joint (e.g. knee, wrist or knuckle)
  • You're experiencing loss of sensation around the wound
  • The wound is gaping apart - this may require stitches

Cuts normally heal within a few days, but you should contact a medical professional as soon as you recognise signs of an infected cut or graze. When germs enter the sensitive tissues under our skin, this can cause an infected cut.

Symptoms may include not only pus, but also swelling, redness, heat, pain, itching or burning. You may also feel generally unwell, and have a high temperature of 38C or above. In case of infection, the wound will need specialist medical treatment because infected cuts become more painful over time.

Wound dressings and plasters should usually be changed each day.


Applying the right plaster can do a lot for your comfort and will also speed up healing. Whether you have cut yourself while chopping vegetables, grazed your skin while scratching along a wall or falling on your hands – a plaster will help these injuries heal better. Find out which plaster you should use for your specific body part and injury.
Packshot of Elastoplast Aqua Protect plasters

Waterproof plasters

Elastoplast Aqua Protect Strips are waterproof, so will not come off while you wash or shower. All Elastoplast Plastic Plasters and our Kids Plasters are also water resistant.

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Packshot of Elastoplast Fabric Finger Strips plasters

Finger Strips

Elastoplast Fabric Finger Strips are extra long so that they stick perfectly to a cut finger.

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Packshot of Elastoplast Sensitive Plaster 20 Strips

Sensitive Plasters

If you have very sensitive skin, we recommend you use Elastoplast Sensitive products. These plasters are especially developed for sensitive skin, and are very skin friendly and hypoallergenic.

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Packshot of Elastoplast Aqua Protect MED XXL plasters

Antibacterial plasters

Looking to protect your wound from dirt and prevent an infected cut? Then try a plaster that contains antiseptic ointment or an antiseptic such as silver technology. Antibacterial Aqua Protect and Antibacterial Sensitive plasters are designed to help you avoid infection even more effectively. We recommend extra cleansing before you apply the plaster.

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How to prevent cuts and grazes

  1. When using sharp tools, be especially careful and if necessary, wear protective gloves.
  2. In the kitchen, chop away from yourself. Remember that sharp knives are actually less dangerous than blunt ones as they will pass through an object more smoothly.
  3. Pass scissors with the sharp ends pointing away from the person you are giving them to.
  4. Think about any potential hazards around your house or place of work. Learn how to take care of injuries at home here.
  5. It's not possible to always avoid cuts and grazes, so make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit at home. Find out what a first -aid kit should contain here.
Always see a doctor if the wound is deep, bleeds heavily or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or warmth.

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 product leaflets. For further information about our products, please contact us via email at