Cuts, scrapes, and burns are hard to avoid. Most minor injuries can be treated at home. A small wound may threaten your health if it causes severe blood loss or becomes infected. Call your healthcare provider if a wound doesn’t heal within a couple of weeks.

Caring for cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds

Step 1. Control bleeding

  • Apply direct pressure to a cut or scrape to stop bleeding.

  • Allow a minor puncture wound to stop bleeding on its own, unless the bleeding is heavy. This may help clean out the wound.

Step 2. Clean the wound

  • Kill germs and remove the dirt by washing the wound with clean, running water and soap.

  • Soak a minor puncture wound in warm, sudsy water for several minutes. Repeat this at least 2 times every day.

Step 3. Cover the injury

  • Hold the edges of a cut together with a butterfly bandage.

  • Apply antibiotic ointment.

  • For a cut or scrape, apply an adhesive bandage or clean gauze. Tape it in place.

  • Cover a minor puncture with gauze to absorb drainage and let in air to help with healing.

Treating minor burns

  • Cool the burn immediately. Otherwise, the skin continues to hold heat and will keep burning. Use cloths soaked in cool water, place the burned area under a gentle stream of cool water, or submerge the burn in a full sink or bucket.

  • Treat a minor burn like you treat a minor cut or scrape. Clean and cover it with a loose dressing.

  • Don't put butter, oil, or ointment on a burn. This only seals in heat. After you cool the area, you can apply a moisturizer with Aloe vera (with or without a numbing agent) to soothe the burn.

  • Don’t break blisters or pull off skin from a broken blister. This skin helps protect the healing skin underneath.