Cuts are skin injuries caused by sharp objects. Scratches are areas of damage to the upper layers of skin. Most cuts and scratches are not very deep and do not go past the skin into muscles or fatty tissues. Deep cuts that are longer than 1/2 inch (1/4 inch if on the face) or leave the skin edges separated or gaping, need stitches, staples, or sutures.
Another option is to use liquid skin bandages that seal over cuts and scrapes. They are a major improvement over Band-aids and antibiotic ointment. They only need to be applied once. They give faster healing and lower infection rates. After the wound is washed and dried, you spray or swab the liquid on. It dries in less than a minute and may last for a week. It is resistant to water. You can buy it at your local pharmacy.
Common mistakes in treating cuts and scratches
Call IMMEDIATELY if:
Note: Lacerations (deep cuts) must be closed by a healthcare provider within 12 hours of the time of injury. They are much less likely to become infected if they are closed within 2 hours.
Call during office hours if: