How to Treat a Minor Cut in 4 Steps

Accidentally cutting yourself from a sharp knife or a piece of glass is a common occurrence. While these cuts are startling, most can be safely treated at home.

To treat a minor cut, Dr. J. Mark Jackson, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, recommends the following steps:

1. Begin with making sure your hands are clean. Wash with soap and water, then follow up by washing the cut with lukewarm water and a mild soap to remove and dirt or debris to prevent infection.
2. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the cut with a clean washcloth or gauze. Maintain the pressure until bleeding stops.
3. Once bleeding has stopped apply petroleum jelly. This will help keep the wound moist for faster healing.
4. Cover the cut with a sterile bandage to prevent it from reopening. Change the bandage daily until it is healed. Once it is closed you may leave it uncovered and apply petroleum jelly daily

If the cut is painful, consider taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or Tylenol.

Avoid over-the-counter antibiotic creams if there is no evidence of infection as many people can develop an allergy to these over time and lead to a localized contact dermatitis at the site.

Most minor cuts heal in a week or less; however if your cut is long than ¾” or more than ½” deep, or won’t stop bleeding, seek immediate medical attention.

Skin Struggles?
If you are struggling with a skin issue and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.