We all get cuts and grazes, but do you know the best ways to treat them, or how long they should take to heal?
Young children are particularly prone to bumps, bruises, cuts and grazes as they often trip and fall as they learn how to walk. Even older children (and adults!) can hurt themselves while playing or taking part in sports.
Most cuts and grazes are minor, heal within a few days and can be easily treated at home.
Expensive painkillers are no more effective than cheaper versions, so there’s no need to waste your money!
Although most cuts and grazes heal by themselves in just a few days, some can take up to 10 days. If they are painful though, painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will help.
Thorough cleaning and a plaster or dressing is all that is needed for most cuts and grazes.
If your cut is bleeding heavily or on a delicate part of your body (such as the sole of your foot or palm of your hand), make sure you stop the bleeding before you put on a plaster.
Lips, gums and tongues have a rich blood supply and so may bleed a lot more than other areas of the body. Sucking on an ice cube (or tasty ice lolly) will help to reduce the swelling in these areas.
Raising your arm or leg above the heart helps to slow down bleeding by reducing blood flow to the area.
A plaster is just for protection, it won’t help the cut heal so only leave it on for between 24 and 48 hours.
Your local pharmacist can advise you on which plasters or dressings to use.
Occasionally, cuts or grazes can get infected. Signs of this include:
An infected wound can usually be treated with a short course of antibiotics.
If you're concerned about yourself, a relative or friend, call NHS 111 for medical advice, this free service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The advisors taking 111 calls are in the same room as those answering 999 calls, so if urgent attention is needed, they can arrange it immediately for you.
Your views and feedback are important to us as we strive to ensure health services in Hampshire are the best they can be. If you would like to get in touch with the CCG or if you have any questions or feedback on the information on this website, please contact us via:
Tel: 02380 627 444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Omega House, 112 Southampton Road
Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5PB
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The NHS in Hampshire is represented by seven local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs):
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This website was created in 2015 by West Hampshire CCG in order to support local people to manage minor illness and injury.