Laceration Treatment in Chicago, IL
What is a Laceration?
In a laceration, the skin becomes separated. A laceration can be anything from a small, minor scrape to a deep, bleeding cut.
Lacerations are very common and can happen suddenly. You may be preparing food, washing dishes, crafting, or working in the yard. A simple slip of a utensil or tool and you may find yourself dealing with a cut. Some lacerations are severe and require a visit to an Urgent Care or the Emergency Room.
While the blood may be startling, most cuts can be safely treated at home if no skin is missing. If your wound is deep and won’t stop bleeding, seek emergency medical care. If you are in need of treatment for a laceration, visit Premier Urgent Care in Hyde Park today! Our physicians are highly trained in emergency medicine and can properly treat lacerations including ones that require stitches.
Why is it important to treat Lacerations properly?
Treating lacerations appropriately not only reduces the risk of infection, scarring, and hospitalization but can also sometimes save a life.
First Priority, Stop the Bleeding
Before touching the wound, wash your hands so you don’t transfer any germs into the exposed area of skin. Now, you can try to stop the bleeding by applying firm and constant pressure to the cut. Most minor cuts and scrapes will usually stop bleeding on their own after a minute or two. If your cut needs a little more help to stop, you can use a clean bandage or cloth. Elevate your wound until the bleeding stops and be aware some may get slightly faint at the sight of blood.
Next, Clean the Wound
After the bleeding has stopped, it is important to clean the wound with water. You can have running water into the wound and wash with soap around the cut, but avoid getting soap into the laceration. Remove any dirt or debris. This is an important step to avoid irritation or infection.
Dress the Wound
After your cut has stopped bleeding and is clean, you can apply some ointment and cover the wound properly. This will allow the skin to stay moist and protected as it heals.
Bandages may include:
- Rolled gauze
- Soft gauze held in place by first aid tape
Be sure to change out the dressing before it gets dirty or wet. Often bandages can shift over time and adjusting the dressing is important to keep it free from germs. Keep the cut covered until it heals. If it seems dry, reapply petroleum jelly or ointment to maintain moisture.
As your laceration begins to heal, pay attention to your skin and how things are going. Watch for infections, swelling or redness. See if your laceration needs ointment or new dressings. If you are in pain, you can take a pain reliever. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot and the wound is deep or dirty, talk to your doctor if you are concerned.
Most cuts should heal in a week or less.
When Should I Seek Help for a Laceration?
If your cut is any of the following, you may need to seek medical attention:
- Longer than three-fourths of an inch
- More than a quarter inch deep
- Won’t stop bleeding
- Blood is spurting out
As your cut heals, if you notice any signs of an infection, such as pus or increased redness, swelling or pain, visit our urgent care right away. If you have any questions about laceration care, call (773) 891-2890 today.