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What are Minor Wounds?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A wound is an injury in which the skin is broken. A minor wound is an injury that can generally be cared for without professional medical assistance. This does not mean that the wound does not require any care, however. When a person is injured, even slightly, she should be sure to clean and protect the damaged area. Items that may be needed to properly treat the injury include bandages, first aid cream, and sunblock.

Scrapes, cuts, and punctures are different types of wounds. Whether these are considered major or minor wounds will depend on the extent of the damage. Minor wounds generally only affect the top layers of skin and cover a small area. If fat, muscle, or bone is visible, this is an indication that the wound is serious.

A puncture, even when minor, may require special attention. This is because such an injury often involves the skin being pierced with a sharp object. Debris or bacteria can be transported into the wound, and it may be difficult for an individual to properly clean it and care for it.

Some wounds can look minor, but they if they bleed for more than 10 minutes, that could be an indication that they are not. To stop a minor wound from bleeding, it is usually only necessary to place a piece of sterile or clean material over it and apply pressure. Once the flow of blood stops, it is important to clean the wound immediately. This can be done using clean, running water and soap. Any debris in the wound should be completely removed.

A minor wound generally needs to be covered for at least the first two days. A sterile bandage is usually the best dressing. It is important, however, to make sure a dirty wound is not dressed. For the first two days, the wounds should also be cleaned several times per day and fresh bandages should be applied.

If a person has a minor wound that appears swollen for several days, she should not panic. Some degree of inflammation is normal when a person is injured. First aid cream can be applied to help reduce the swelling. This type of product is also useful in helping prevent infection and reducing the amount of scarring.

People with diabetes must be extra cautious even when they are dealing with minor wounds. This is especially true if the wound is a sore on the foot. Medical professionals warn that diabetics get amputations at rates drastically higher than other individuals. This happens because they experience minor injuries that are missed and allowed to exist without proper care.

Caring for minor wounds can also involve sun protection. The use of sunblock is usually advised for several months after an injury is incurred. Otherwise, the sun could discolor a minor wound and make it more unsightly than it would be.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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