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Healing Cuts and Scrapes: The myths and truths revealed

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) - It's a challenge to know how to properly treat life's little cuts and scrapes. With the vast amount of information available, it's tough to know if a wound should be covered up, left to the open air, kept moist or left to scab over.

Here are some common myths and truths about the treatment of wounds to help get you on the path to better healing.

To Bandage or Not to Bandage

Myth: The best way for a cut to heal is to keep it exposed to allow a scab to form.

Truth: Use a bandage to help a wound heal faster. The protective covering of a bandage forces the cut back together. A scab is dry skin that acts as a wedge forcing the broken skin apart, making it more difficult for wounds to heal quickly, without scarring. Scabbing shouldn't happen because dry, crusted wounds don't heal as fast and studies have shown that wounds covered with a bandage have lower rates of infection.

Keep It Moist

Myth: When treating a wound, keep skin as dry as possible.

Truth: Moist skin heals fastest because the task of healing a wound requires the activity of cels. Cells cannot function in a dry environment. They need moisture to do their repair work.

As the wound dries out, it begins to crust, forming a scab causing the cells to work harder to repair the injury. The key to healing a cut is maintaining the right amount of moisture. Keeping the cut covered with a bandage and adding a medicated ointment will ensure it stays moist.

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Scrub Time

Myth: Always let blood run through a cut to disinfect the area.

Truth: It is important to keep the area around the cut or scrape clean and to remove excess oil, dirt and grime from the skin that may prevent the bandage from sticking. Carefully cleanse the affected area with water, add a medicated ointment and then quickly apply a protective bandage.

Taking it Off

Myth: The best way to rip a bandage off is in one quick pull.

Truth: It's actually better to pull the bandage off slowly and in the direction of natural hair growth. If the bandage is difficult to remove, dab the edges with baby oil or rubbing alcohol to allow the bandage to lift off with ease. Ripping the bandage off could cause the wound to reopen.

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"To ensure minor wounds heal properly, the right steps need to be taken," says Stephanie Neskas, Brand Manager for Nexcare products at 3M. "Once a cut or scrap has been carefully cleaned, the appropriate bandage should be applied. To get the best results, Nexcare has a full assortment of bandages including the Waterproof, Comfort and Active bandages that are designed to adhere to the skin to provide complete healing action no matter what you are doing."

For more information on safety and healing tips, visit Nexcare.ca


- News Canada



I am so glad I found this article. I have been reading and reading online. I have friends and family telling me one thing and doctors something different. I have been keeping it covered but one friend told me her doctor told her it can't be wet all the time because it will never heal correct, it needs air to properly heal. I have a facial scrape (allllll over my chin) from a fall this weekend. I am very worried about scars on my face and just want to do the right thing from the start. Its much harder to get rid of a scar later on.. If anyone has another one advice, I'm totally open to it! Thanks! V
a person very close to me has been cutting for around five years and just recently almost died from it. they decided after this last time that they were done with it for Good! im proud of them and trying to help 'em heal as fast as possible and hopefully they can prevent a few scars. so thanks again. much appreciation.
Im glad to here that, if their scars are evident and they want them gone have them apply liquid vitimin E and cover it while they sleep, it takes a few applications but it works
I had a cyst removed on my chest less than a week ago. My doctor told me to cover it after showering with a bandaid for at least a week. I used several different brands and the latest one Nexcare CE0086 Sterile bandaid has caused a rash around the area where the strips go not the area with the white pad. It is very red and sore, I think I must be alergic to the material the strip is made from, it says it is not laytex. I have been online all morning looking for information, please help. Susan
you're probably allergic to the adhesive or glue...I heard corn is used to make them, my dad had the same problem with medical tape...
Hi Susan, You are allergic to the type of adhesive that is used on that particular brand. I went through the same thing after my Gaul bladder was removed. Don't be surprised if the rash blisters. The blisters then open up and they ooze. I just kept washing them with mild bar soap and water. I did cover them with steri-sponge gauze, but did not use another bandage. The gauze won't stick too bad, it "breaths", and its a lot more tollerable than putting another bandage on an alreadry painful area! The rash may also swell, and/or be painful, or itch. I'm so sorry you are going through this, but now you know it's not terribly uncommon! :) it should heal with no trace you ever even had a rash. (hopefully) !
Rubbing a raw potato over any scars or blemishes help. You can google this and follow the instructions. I have tried it and it does work.
This is all may be the opposite. All the MYTHS are the TRUTHS and the truths are MYTHS! Seriously! im 97 yrs old and all the myths have been working jus fine for me still healthy and living :) the real trick is: CLEAN LIVING!
i highly doubt that you are 97 years old.
Yeah I'm with you, I truly doubt your are 97 or even close
The individual could be 97, my 97 yr. old Aunt has a blog-yes, she is 97 and she keeps up a blog online! She is one amazing woman! In fact this could even be her-who knows! :)
Best response I've ever heard
I doubt a 97 year old is on the internet!!!!!!!!
I agree all the myths are the truths and the truths are myths,because my wife is undergo in surgical operation due to Cesarean,after operation the doctor advise us to cover it with a very thin gauze according to him in order to heal it faster and less moist. And now we see the positive result and we live now healthy and happy!!!!!!!!!!!!
If the area becomes sore or red, looks to be infected please contact your doctor for him to put you on antibiotics. Creme (triple antibiotic) and other won't always work.
I know that my tattoo artist always tells people to keep the bandages on for 4 days, cleaning and changing regularly, then just washing and reapplying regularly. He says it always makes the tattoo heal faster.
i'll try what it sad about the moisture and band aid BUT! if that does not work i'll try the one you guys said about the raw patato.
I haved used items found in my kitchen for healing with great chemical free results. For MINOR skin blemishes I tape a piece of banana peel, the inner part touching skin, overnight. Use a new piece daily and continue for as long as it takes. Works well for warts also. Cold pressed ORGANIC coconut oil, juice or flesh from REAL aloe vera or a paste made from water and powdered golden seal have also helped with scaring. If in a pinch use a wet teabag of golden seal, place on skin, leave on overnight. These will soften scar and promote healing. Use as needed. Can be used jointly. As with any treatment, research and consult medical advice before doing ANYTHING.
i have very bad scars on my legs just seem ta be al cut and scared all the time! and have strech marks (very bad, on my chest and legs as well as my belly from my pregnancy) and i find pure vitamin E oil from the heath store is fantastic!!
wowie nice to know
Aloe vera & cocoa butter...do not cover...heal quickly leaving no scars or marks! Works very well!
My husband threw a hedge-trimmer at me, and I have gashes and bruises all over my leg! A neighbor (also working in his yard called 911 from a cell phone), so the cops ended up going to the wrong house! (We had to hide, cuz this would be a felony, and I could not afford to get him out of jail, and stuff)! Since there are 2 eye witnesses, I am afraid to be treated! Trying to butterfly it all together! :(
Oh please get treated and report this to the police. The next time his abuse may be worse.
I agree with this person. He has already left scars on you for life, and he doesn't care. He doesn't want to get in trouble with authorities but for you he does not care and you need to realize that. Too many people think they NEED a significant other and so they settle, sometimes for assholes. Humanity is too overpopulated. Watch the movie idiocracy. It is funny as all hell. it makes fun of us and when you watch it you realize that idiocracy is not a concern of the future it is present now and it is a problem that needs to be reversed.
Why would you want to get him out of Jail????
): what kind of husband would throw a hedge trimmer at his wife? he sounds like a nasty piece of shit.
I would(^:
I can't even believe someone who post such nonsense. Dump the loser.
Are you of African-American descent?