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What Are the Different Types of Wound Treatment?

Bandages may be used to prevent infection by keeping out dirt and debris.
Using peroxide on wounds could halt the natural healing process.
Cuts and scrapes can often be treated at home.
Wounds should be cleaned and bandaged to promote healing.
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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2014
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There are different types of wound treatment, and the type a patient receives will depend on the injury being treated. Wounds may be cleaned and bandaged, stitched, or wrapped in order to provide proper healing. Some may also require additional treatment, such as surgery. If complications arise, such as infection, medications may also be needed to kill any bacteria that may have entered through the wound site.

For minor injuries, different types of wound treatment will likely involve cleaning the area thoroughly and wrapping it with some type of bandage. Cuts and scrapes can often be treated at home. The area can be cleaned with a commercial product, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. After the area is clean, a commercial stick-on bandage may be used.

More severe cuts may require different types of wound treatment, including stitches and heavier bandaging to prevent dirt and bacteria from entering the wound during healing. Stitches are generally used when the wound is very wide or deep. They help to hold the skin together so that healing will be faster and more complete. Heavy bandaging may be wrapped around the entire area, or gauze may be taped onto the skin.

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If the injury involves a break or sprain, different types of wound treatment will likely include X-rays being taken, resetting the bone into place, and then being immobilized by a cast or heavy wrapping. Patients will be encouraged to move the area as little as possible to prevent further injury. Any cuts or gashes in the same area will treated much like any other open wound.

Surgery may be required if the wound involves shrapnel or any other foreign object that becomes lodged within the body. Surgeons may have to make an incision from which to remove such objects. Once the operation is complete, wound treatment will be like with any other surgery. The incision site will be kept clean and covered. Patients are also closely monitored to ensure that infection does not occur, and that the wound is healing properly.

Any open wound puts a patient at higher risk for developing an infection. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the opening, allowing it to circulate more quickly. Signs of infection include redness at the wound opening, leakage or pus, fever, nausea, and dizziness. If any of these symptoms are present, patients are advised to go back to the doctor to be checked and possibly given an antibiotic. Keeping wounds clean and dressed can help prevent infection.

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Discuss this Article

myharley
Post 11

My dad has had diabetes for a long time. As this has become progressively harder to control, it takes much longer for wounds to heal.

He has used hyperbaric wound treatment to help treat some of his diabetic wounds. This is a type of treatment that delivers oxygen under pressure to help with wound healing.

Many times wounds heal slowly because there is not enough oxygen. With this type of treatment, the wound has a chance to heal faster.

This type of treatment isn't for anyone who is claustrophobic because you have to stay inside a chamber for a few hours in order to get this treatment.

Once my dad got used to it, he has used this many times to help his wounds heal. It works faster than other methods, and it is important to make sure his wounds heal as quickly as possible.

John57
Post 10

If you need to treat a wound or burn and don't have any antibiotic cream around, pouring some honey on the wound can really help with the healing.

Honey naturally contains antimicrobial properties that aid in the healing of wounds. This worked especially well when my husband burned his arm.

He immediately poured honey on the burn area and wrapped it in a bandage to keep it clean. Every night he would take off the bandage, clean the area and apply more honey.

It was amazing how fast these burns healed and never bubbled or left a scar. It also helped with the pain. He thought his arm would be throbbing with pain, but it never did.

julies
Post 9

@bagley79 - I also like to use antibiotic creams or ointments on wounds I treat at home. My mom pulled out the iodine when we had wounds as kids, and I can still remember how that would sting when she put it on.

When my daughter broke her arm she had a heavy duty wrapping go around her arm to keep it in place. Years ago if someone broke a bone, they always had a cast.

They use different material to treat many of the broken bones today. They work the same way a cast did, but are not so heavy and cumbersome.

bagley79
Post 8

When it comes to minor wound therapy for my kids, the main thing I do is make sure the area stays clean.

As soon as they come to me with something like this, I immediately clean it with hydrogen peroxide. Then I put some antibiotic cream on it and put a kid-friendly bandage on it.

Something so simple as a cartoon character bandage can go a long way with young children. Depending on the type of wound, many times at night I like to keep the bandage off so the wound can breathe and heal faster.

In the morning we go through the same process again with a new bandage until the wound is healed. Thankfully none of my kids have had a bad enough wound where they needed stitches.

That would require more medical attention than a simple procedure like this for minor wounds.

burcidi
Post 7

@feruze-- I guess pulling out a small nail is not that bad. Ideally though, if you have an object stuck in you, you're not supposed to pull it out. You can wash the area and sanitize it, but only a doctor should pull it out at the hospital.

The reason for this is because the object could have ruptured veins while going in and if you pull it out, it can cause immense bleeding. The bigger the object, the more bleeding it can cause when it's pulled out, especially if it has hit a main artery. The object, while inside, literally blocks the veins where it has ruptured them and will prevent bleeding.

These kinds of wounds are surgical wounds, so even if you have a knife sticking out your back, you have to go to the hospital like that. The surgeons deal with it so that they can control the bleeding and give you extra blood if you need it.

bear78
Post 6

@lighth0se33-- That happened to me a few years ago. My brother was doing some work around the house and had laid out some nails on the floor. Well, he forgot one there and since it was summer, I was walking around barefoot. I was walking around and felt something go into my foot. I had stepped on the nail!

I pulled the nail out, it didn't hurt or bleed much but my mom freaked out because I didn't have a tetanus shot. I had to go to the hospital and get one. The shot hurt more than the nail!

fify
Post 5

I work at a kitchen and I once cut my finger while chopping vegetables. The cut was pretty deep but I didn't realize how bad it was in the beginning. I went home, cleaned the cut, wrapped with gauze and took a nap. When I woke up, there was blood everywhere. The cut was too deep and it had started to bleed when I was sleeping.

I went to the ER immediately and the nurse there cleaned my cut with hydrogen peroxide. She then did local anesthesia so that I wouldn't feel the stitches. The doctor stitched up my finger. I went back a week later to have the stitches removed.

I'm so glad I didn't take any chances and try to treat myself at home. I clearly needed professional attention. My cut could have gotten infected, or I might have lost more blood had I stayed at home.

Perdido
Post 4

I had to have stitches on an open wound just below my eyebrow when I was six years old. I had been chasing a basketball that went under my dad's truck, and I ran into the sharp point of his bumper and fell flat on my back.

I woke up giggling, until I looked down and saw that my shirt was covered in blood. Then my giggles turned to screams.

I don't remember much about getting the stitches, but I know that I needed quite a few of them. I do recall having a black eye for weeks after that. There was nothing they could do for the black eye but give it time to heal, but the stitches kept infection out and my precious blood in my body.

lighth0se33
Post 3

I was bitten by a dog when I was a child. I had seen my neighbor frequently take her bulldog's cheeks in her hands and talk baby talk to him, so I decided to try it. He lunged at me and bit my lower lip.

My mother rushed me to the doctor. He gave me a tetanus shot so that I could not become infected. My lower lip poked out a little for some time, and I had trouble drinking, but the shot was the only treatment for this sensitive area.

I didn't realize what tetanus was at the time, but I have since learned that it is a disease caused by a bacteria, and many people die from it. I was told that any time someone gets bitten by an animal or steps on a rusty nail, they should hurry up and get the shot so that they don't become infected. However, you really only need the shot if it has been over five years since you last had one.

seag47
Post 2

@shell4life – I had never heard of spray-on bandages before. I have been using gauze instead of adhesive bandages, but after reading your post, I think maybe I should give the spray kind a try.

It is kind of inconvenient to wrap gauze all around my arm, leg, or finger just to cover one small cut. I have to wrap it around several times to secure it, and it is a bit much.

My main concern is keeping bacteria out of the wound. I have a fear of getting a severe infection and becoming deathly ill from it, when I could have prevented it just by wrapping my wound up. So, I am adamant about protecting my open wounds.

shell4life
Post 1

If I have a minor cut or scrape, I like to use spray-on bandages. These are so much more convenient and comfortable than regular adhesive bandages, and my skin seems to heal faster when I use them.

The spray-on bandage is breathable, so the wound can get all the air it needs to breathe and heal. Regular bandages tend to trap moisture and make the skin around my wound get all pruned, and I have to leave them off for awhile just to let the area return to normal.

Also, with spray-on bandages, I don't have to worry about them falling off or ripping the hair off my arm when I pull them off. That can be very painful. The spray-on kind can be removed by putting another coat on and rubbing it off right away.

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