How can I Treat Paper Cuts?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2019
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Paper cuts and other minor cuts can occur at home, the office, or pretty much anywhere else. Paper cuts, though small, are generally felt the moment they happen and while they are considered minor, there are proper first aid procedures that treat paper cuts. Paper cuts, like any minor cut, can become infected if not properly treated.

The best way to treat paper cuts is to clean the cut and take measures to prevent infection. The first step in preventing infection is to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible. Since most paper cuts affect the hands, it is especially important to wash them thoroughly because the hands carry many germs. Once you have washed the affected area, pat the area dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

The second thing you should do with paper cuts is help prevent bacteria from entering the cut while it heals. Paper cuts generally heal quickly, but the opportunity for bacteria to enter the cut still exists briefly. Applying a thin layer of topical antibiotic cream or ointment will help reduce the likelihood of infection and can help the cut heal quicker. Covering the cut with an adhesive bandage is also a good idea.


If you can’t treat paper cuts with antibiotic ointment, you might apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the affected area once it has been thoroughly cleaned and is dry. This will help provide a protective layer that keeps moisture and bacteria out. However, you should wash the affected area with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment or even hydrogen peroxide as soon as possible.

Even though they are minor, it is still important to treat paper cuts and other minor cuts when they happen. Infection from paper cuts is usually minor and heals on its own, but can be more painful in the end and can be avoided if you take care of paper cuts as soon as they happen rather than waiting until they become infected. If a paper cut or other minor cut seems to be getting worse, becomes painful, or won’t heal after a few days you should see a doctor.


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Discuss this Article

Post 5

I hate them like mad i have got one now and i am struggling to type! i have a tiny one about 2cm. how do i get rid of it?

Post 3

paper cuts are the worst!

Post 2

Paper cuts hurt so much worse because of all the nerve endings in the finger.

Post 1

I think the biggest question about paper cuts is, Why do they hurt SO much when they are a MINOR cut?!

Maybe it's because I always get them right across a cuticle, but man those things hurt!

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