5. Change Your Bandage Daily
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, you should change your bandage once each day. Change the bandage more often if it becomes wet, dirty, or damaged. Avoid ripping off your bandage or medical tape quickly, as the sudden tearing motion risks reopening your sore. Instead, grip the edge of the adhesive and pull slowly and carefully. If necessary, use warm water to soak the sides of the bandage to ease removal and avoid tearing off a layer of skin.
4. Keep the Area Clean
Allow your wound time to fully heal by keeping the area clean. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may want to avoid soaking in a bathtub, swimming, or participating in sports that may introduce dirt and bacteria to the wound. Soaking in a hot tub, swimming pool, or jacuzzi can create an overly wet environment that allows bacteria to thrive. If you do spend time in the water or sliding into first base, make sure to replace your bandage to keep the area clean.
3. Refrain from Picking at Scabs
If your wound does develop a scab, avoid picking at the area. A scab forms when your body makes platelets that allow your blood to clot and form a protective layer over a cut or scratch. As your body begins the repair process beneath this protective covering, you may notice itching. Refrain from scratching or picking at the site of a scab. Picking off this coating can delay the healing process and contribute to the formation of scarring. Instead, leave the crust alone. It will fall off by itself in a week or so when its job is done.Related: 15 Things Emergency Room Staff Wish You Knew
2. Save Butter for Cooking
You may have heard that butter is a good item to spread on burns. However, this old wives’ tale is best ignored. When you suffer a burn, your best course of action is to allow the skin to cool down. Applying butter or greasy ointments to an injury traps heat in the area and can lead to further skin damage. For minor burns that don’t require emergency medical treatment, the Mayo Clinic advises holding the burned skin under cool running water before applying moisturizer and a bandage.
1. Watch for Signs of Infection
Sometimes a cut, scrape, or scratch can become infected. According to Medline Plus, signs that a wound is infected may include redness, pain, and drainage from the area. Drainage from the injury may be yellow, green, or clear. Fever and persistent pain are other signs of infection. Advanced Tissue warns that if the area becomes swollen or hot to the touch, you may have an infection. Furthermore, red streaks that extend from the cut are known as lymphangitis and indicate a spreading infection.Related: 9 Life-Threatening Conditions That May Present with Skin Rashes