You will likely have one or more small wounds such as a scraped knee during your lifetime, but you will seldom have a serious wound that requires stitches or surgery to help it heal.
- Lacerations from sharp objects
- Blows to the body
- Falling injuries
- Projectile injuries
Skin wounds are considered open injuries because the uppermost layer of skin is damaged with minor cuts, but with serious lacerations, the underlying layers of skin are exposed.
For small wounds such as a cut on the finger from a knife, you can clean the skin with antiseptics such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This will eliminate the pathogens on the skin and in the underlying tissues to prevent an infection. With the application of an adhesive bandage, you can keep dirt and pathogens from entering the wound. You should monitor the injury frequently to ensure that it is healing properly.
- Hemostasis – the body creates a fast-chemical-reaction to heal the injury
- Inflammatory – the blood coagulates to prevent additional bleeding
- Proliferative – the body produces new cells to repair the wound
- Maturation – new skin tissue gains flexibility and strength
Small wounds typically heal without any specialized treatment, but if there is redness or swelling, then you can use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to eliminate any infection. However, if you notice additional problems from the wound, then you must visit an urgent care center for an evaluation. A physician can examine the wound to remove an infection from the tissues along with prescribing an oral antibiotic.
When you have a larger wound or a wound that is small but goes deeper into the body, immediate medical attention is required. In some cases, you should contact the paramedics for assistance for a wound that is bleeding or that makes you have severe pain or other health issues such as respiratory distress. If a projectile has entered your body, then the foreign body will require removal with surgery, and this requires hospitalization. Longer and deeper lacerations require stitches to help the wound heal with less scarring. If a wound is on the face or neck, then you should have a repair from an expert to avoid having scars that can alter your appearance.
If you have sustained a wound, the best plan is to come into WellCare Urgent Care center to make sure that it is not serious, and to get proper treatment.