Superficial scrapes and grazes can be easily managed at home. Here are some tips to promote quick healing:
- Thoroughly clean the wound with clear water and gauze or a clean flannel, making sure to remove any grit or dirt that you can see.
- Gently pat the area dry and apply a simple dressing or plaster that you can find in your local pharmacy or supermarket.
- The wound may leak or bleed for the first couple of days – don’t worry, this is normal! To prevent bacteria getting in to your wound, try not to change the dressing too often. Unless the plaster is very wet, try to leave your dressing in place (keeping it clean and dry) for at least 2 days at a time.
- Ensure that you thoroughly clean your wound each time you change the dressing. It is often not enough to run water over the wound, it must be wiped to remove any dried blood or exudate, or any dead tissue.
- Take regular pain relief e.g. paracetamol to manage pain, if needed.
MYTH: it is a myth that it is better to “leave wounds to air out”. Moist environments facilitate quicker wound healing. By covering your wound with a sterile dressing, you are promoting moist wound healing and lessening the risk of infection.
Most cuts can be managed at home. Bleeding can be stopped by applying strong pressure onto the cut and holding the affected part of your body above the height of your heart.
If you suspect your wound is very deep because it is either bleeding profusely and not stopping with lots of pressure applied to the wound, or if you can see any underlying structures (e.g. bone, tendon, fat), you must go to A&E as your wound may need to be closed with stitches or special glue.
If your cut is not too deep, you can look after this at home by following the same instructions for grazes (above).
See the link below for advice from St John’s Ambulance on first aid for cuts and scrapes:
Burns and Scalds
Click the link below for some simple first aid tips when dealing with burns and scalds:
You must go to A&E immediately if you know or suspect that you have been burnt by a chemical agent e.g. acid or household cleaning products. If possible, keep rinsing the affected area of skin under water until you get there.
It is very common for burns and scalds to blister. If this happens, do not pop the blister, it will eventually drain itself. Instead, keep the wound dressed with a plaster or a bandage if the burn is larger. If the blister does pop, it may reveal a wound underneath which you will need to keep clean and apply a dressing to in order to prevent infection.
Contact your practice nurse if you feel that your wound caused by a burn is healing very slowly, getting worse or if you suspect it may have become infected. See the end of this guide to find out more about wound infection.
If they are not cleaned and dressed properly, it is possible for wounds to become infected. Here are some signs of infection to look out for. If you suspect that your wound has become infected, please contact reception to speak to a practice nurse or a GP, as you may require antibiotics and a special dressing.
- Heat – does the skin around your wound feel hot to touch compared to the rest of your skin?
- Redness – is the skin surrounding your wound suddenly looking very red?
- Pain – has the wound suddenly become a lot more painful?
- Smell – does your wound have a bad odour?
- Colour – has your wound bed changed colour? Infected wound beds can often turn a dark, purulent colour or sometimes have a green tinge.
- Exudate – is you wound suddenly leaking a lot more than it was before? Have you noticed any pus coming from the wound?
- Blood – has your wound suddenly started bleeding?
- Self – are you feeling well in yourself? A high temperature (fever) is often a sign of infection.
Do not ignore any of these signs, wound infection can be serious.
Local services that might be able to help
Find a local pharmacy
Information on common health problems
Self-management tool for patients
Long term conditions
Respiratory Conditions (COPD)
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions affect the joints, bones and muscles, and also include rarer autoimmune diseases and back pain. Download the Rehab Me app and visit the Bob and Brad YouTube Channel to learn about how you can relieve your pain.
Weight loss services
The new NHS Digital Weight Management Programme supports adults living with obesity, who also have either diabetes or high blood pressure or both, to improve their health and manage their weight.
Obesity is a serious health concern which increases the risk of many other health conditions, for example type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems, and some cancers.
The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme is a 12-week lifestyle and behavioural intervention that people can access online via their smartphone or computer. It can be hard to keep healthy, but with support from the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme you can take control of your weight and significantly reduce further health risks.
- Speak to your GP practice to find out more about the programme or visit our website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/digital-weight-management/
You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it's important to tell someone and remember you're not alone.