Treatment for minor wounds

Minor wounds happen when the skin is broken, cut, bitten, or lacerated by an external force. Usually, a minor wound does not need medical attention, but knowing how to care for a minor wound is essential in preventing wound infection(1).

Luckily, it is easy to learn proper wound care. Here is what you need to remember whenever you, or someone you know, experience a minor wound:

Sanitize your hands

1. Sanitize your hands
The first step of proper wound care is sanitizing your hands with soap and water, or alcohol. Open wounds are more susceptible to infections. And that is why washing your hands before handling the injury decreases the likelihood of a wound infection(2).

2. Control the bleeding
Depending on the severity of the wound, a minor wound usually stops bleeding on its own. But, if the bleeding still continues, apply light pressure to the area with a warm cloth or towel. After that, elevate the wound to lessen blood flow, then wait for a few minutes until the bleeding stops.

3. Clean the wound
After controlling the bleeding, you should cleanse your wound under running tap water. If the wounded area is dirty, you can try to scrub gently the surrounding area with a washcloth.

Using soap, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide directly on the wound is highly discouraged. They disrupt the skin’s natural healing process and may cause irritation too(3).

If there is debris in the wound, such as small pieces of glass or wood, you can try to carefully remove them using a sterilized tweezer. But if the debris is too deep, you should seek immediate medical attention.

4. Apply ointment
After thoroughly cleaning the wound, you can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to prevent the bandage from sticking(4). You can also apply ointments that are enhanced with camphor and eucalyptus oil(5), that helps relieve itching and pain(6). Products containing these properties also help address any pain and swelling.

Cover the wound

5. Cover the wound
To avoid wound infection, wrap the affected area with a clean gauze or an adhesive strip. Make sure to replace your bandages every day, or whenever it gets soiled or dirty(7).

6. Manage the pain
Minor wounds usually take only a few days to heal. But, there are still some instances when you experience light pain and swelling. A great product for wound care includes ointments which contain anti-inflammatory properties such as eucalyptus oil and camphor.

What should I do after applying first-aid?

Now that you have properly administered proper wound care, you should also track your wound’s healing progress. This will help prevent any further wound infection.

1. Replace your bandage regularly

You should replace your bandage at least once a day and whenever it gets dirty or soiled. This will help protect you from further wound infection by keeping out germs and bacteria from the area.

Also, regularly replacing your bandages will help lock-in moisture needed to promote healthy wound healing and lessen the occurrence of scarring(8).

2. Avoid scratching the wound

Be it a small mosquito wound or a minor cut, scratching your wound does more harm than good.

Although scratching your wound may give you temporary relief, it delays your wounds’ healing progress. Instead, apply a thin layer of medicated ointment or cream on the affected area to relieve your wound’s itch.

  1. Wounds first aid. Retrieved from:
  2. Cuts and Scrapes. Retrieved from:
  3. Cuts and scrapes: First aid. Retrieved from:
  4. Care for a Skin Wound. Retrieved from:
  5. Alam, P., Shakeel, F., Anwer, M. K., Foudah, A. I., & Alqarni, M. H. (2018). Wound Healing Study of Eucalyptus Essential Oil Containing Nanoemulsion in Rat Model. Journal of oleo science, 67(8), 957–968.
  6. Incredible Uses and Benefits of Camphor You May Not Know About. Retrieved from:
  7. Taking Care of Cuts and Scrapes. Retrieved from:
  8. Should You Bandage a Cut or Sore, or Let It Air Out? Retrieved from: