What is it
Skin wounds may be caused accidentally because of a trauma, or deliberately as in the case of surgery.
They may be only on the surface, such as scrapes or grazes, or deeper.
The most frequent skin wounds by far are those that occur while handling sharp or pointed objects at home or at work.
The first thing to do when you cut yourself is:
- wash the wound
- let it bleed
The cut should be washed using running drinking water or a non-irritating disinfectant in an acqueous solution (e.g. an acqueous benzalkonium solution).
The aim of the washing is to remove bacteria and any solid contaminants that may have penetrated the wound.
Bleeding is equally important because it not only disinfects the wound naturally, but also provides the factors needed for its repair.
The use of alcohol, iodine, chloride solutions and colourants should be avoided because they act as irritants.
Cuts tend to heal by themselves but, in order to encourage more rapid healing and prevent infection, they should be medicated using a cotton gauze dressing impregnated with PEG Balm.
The gauze helps to prevent contamination from the outside environment, whereas PEG Balm absorbs the exudates, thus inhibiting bacterial growth and helping the healing process.
An ideal way of holding the gauze is to use elastic tubular netting (Surgifix), which allows the skin to breathe.
The gauze dressing with PEG Balm should be changed once or twice a day until the wound has healed.