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Cleaning Wounds: Should You Use Strong Antiseptics?

Open wound on the legWhen it comes to cleaning open wounds, many believe that antiseptics and disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol are effective to remove dirt and bacteria. This belief and approach to wound cleaning, however, is nothing but a misconception. Hydrogen peroxide is unnecessary, and should only be used if recommended by a doctor.

What’s With Hydrogen Peroxide?

While hydrogen peroxide is commonly used for wound irrigation, studies indicate that it is not that helpful in wound healing stages. The bubbling of the solution kills the bacteria, but it also harms the healthy cells, which then delays wound healing.Urgent care centers in Lehi suggest sticking with safer solutions like saline or mild soapy water that can clean the wound without damaging your cells.

The Truth About Alcohol

Alcohol does minimize germ activity within the surface of the wound, but it can also burn your skin. Just like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol can damage your skin cells, which may also contribute to itching or swelling. Again, it is best to use a saline solution or tap water for safe and effective cleaning. You can also use an alcohol-free wipe and gently wipe or dab the skin with it.

The Best Way to Clean Minor Wounds

The proper approach to cleaning wound is simple irrigation or running it under cool, running water. Use a mild soap (on the surrounding skin) and rinse the wound for at five least minutes to get rid of dirt, debris, and bacteria. If you notice dirt or debris lodged in the wound, use sterile tweezers to remove it. If the wound, however, is deep and bleeding non-stop, seek urgent or emergency care.

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Keeping the Wound Moist and Covered

It is best to keep the injuries moist and covered to promote faster healing and prevent the bandages from sticking. It is not true that letting your wound exposed to air is better, as this inhibits the growth of new granular tissues, which can then delay healing and promote the formation of scars. You should also know that “air drying” can create a dry environment that contributes to cell death.

Learn the proper ways of cleaning and taking care of your wound. Don’t hesitate to visit an urgent care center or clinic for wounds that are large, deep, and inflamed (excessive swelling).

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