Skin tears are openings in the skin that are just as painful as their name indicates. As we age, our skin naturally becomes fragile and thin. This delicate skin is more likely to tear without much provocation. Whether you brush against a rough surface or accidentally bang against the counter, it can easily cause a skin tear if your skin is already aging and delicate.
If a skin tear occurs, providing the right treatment is vital to reducing the pain associated with the wound and to ensure it heals properly. Your KEEP>GOING First Aid Kitbag has everything you need to treat a skin tear, whether it happens at home or when you’re out and about. Follow these steps to treat a skin tear so you can ensure it heals quickly and properly.
Stop the bleeding.
If the skin tear is deep, there may be blood. Apply pressure to the wound and elevate it to slow the bleeding. Consider using the gauze in your compact First Aid Kit to apply pressure and make the bleeding stop.
Clean it out.
You probably already know the importance of keeping wounds clean to prevent infection, and skin tears are no different. If possible, rinse the area with water or saline to ensure it’s clean. You may be tempted to apply a first aid cream, hydrogen peroxide, or another cleaning agent to the area. However, since the skin is delicate, this may do more harm than good. Keep it simple with water or saline. In case you don’t have access, use the non-sting cleaning wipes in your KEEP>GOING First Aid GoKit or SuperKit.
Let it dry.
Before you attempt to bandage or cover the wound, be sure it’s dry. Wrapping a damp wound may negatively affect the already-sensitive skin. While you wait for the skin tear to dry, be mindful of the wound’s location and be sure not to bang or bump it again while it’s still exposed.
Now that the skin is clean and dry, take a look at the area. Some skin tears still have a flap of skin that’s been separated from the wound. If this is the case, you can gently replace the flap of skin over the wound to decrease healing time. Use the tweezers in your KEEP>GOING family First Aid Kit if needed.
Cover it up.
Exposed wounds are more susceptible to infection and open air can also increase the pain associated with your skin tear. Once it’s clean, dry, and set, cover it up to protect it. If it’s a tiny skin tear, you can choose a bandage from the assorted sizes in your KEEP>GOING First Aid Kit and apply it to the wound.
A bigger skin tear may call for the gauze and first aid tape found in your personal First Aid Kit. Wrap the gauze around the wound, then use the tape to secure it. If you notice signs of infection, such as swelling or pus, or your skin tear takes longer than four weeks to heal, consult with your doctor.
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