To cover or not: Proper wound care at home

Easy access to hospitals is essential when you get wounded in a home accident. However, not everybody has easy access to hospitals, and this is just one reason why proper wound care at home is important. Here are some tips when cleaning, treating, and protecting a wound at home:

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Wound cleansing
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t clean a wound by just washing it with water and soap and wiping it down with a towel or tissue. The wound and the area surrounding it should be gently cleaned with water and mild soap. It should then be blotted with sterile gauze pads. Medical professionals believe that these sterile gauze pads help clean and remove water from the wound without introducing contaminants.


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Wound treatment
Gently apply an antiseptic or an antibiotic, or both, to avoid aggravating the damaged tissue and to protect it against infection.


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Wound protection
For years, there have been debates on whether leaving the wound open to the elements would help it heal faster because of scabbing. This has already been disproved by extensive research. Although scab formation is the body’s way of protecting against infection, it is easily torn and impedes the healing process. Scabbing also usually results in unsightly scars. So the proper way to protect a wound would be to cover it using a sterile gauze pad, remembering to only touch the edges to prevent contaminant transfer from your hand, and then use a first-aid tape to secure the gauze and keep out dirt, germs, and bacteria. The gauze pad will absorb fluids and maintain the proper moisture balance that is conducive to healing.

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