How to Treat a Cut Finger: 11 Steps (with Images)

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How to Treat a Cut Finger: 11 Steps (with Images)
How to Treat a Cut Finger: 11 Steps (with Images)

Cutting your finger is a very common thing when cooking or playing sports. Finger injuries are recurrent and usually do not require emergency care. But when the cut is deep, the bleeding doesn't stop or a foreign object is in the wound (such as a piece of glass or metal, for example), you should see a doctor immediately.


Part 1 of 2: Sterilizing the Cut

Treat a Cut Finger Step 1

Step 1. Wash your hands before touching the cut

The risk of your hand causing a bacterial infection will be considerably reduced.

When you have disposable medical gloves at home, wear one on your injured hand so you don't expose the cut to bacteria on your hand

Treat a Cut Finger Step 2

Step 2. Clean the cut

Rinse it with clean running water. Take a clean cloth, wet it with soap and water. Wrap it around the wound without letting soap come into contact with it so as not to cause irritation. After finishing the sterilization, dry the cut with a clean towel, feeling it with light touches.

  • When there is still dirt in the cut even washing the place, use tweezers to remove it. Before using the tweezers, soak them in isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, or an iodine-based cleaner in the cut, as these products can irritate the injured tissue.
  • If the cut still has dirt or it does not come off easily, seek medical attention at the nearest clinic or hospital.
Treat a Cut Finger Step 3

Step 3. See if blood is squirting or running

When it squirts, an artery has certainly been severed and this requires immediate medical attention, as you will not be able to stop the bleeding yourself. Press the cut with a clean cloth or towel (or sterile gauze) and go to the ER. Do not attempt to apply a tourniquet to the cut.

When the blood runs out, a vein has been cut. This type of bleeding can usually be treated at home and, with proper care, it stops after about ten minutes. As with more serious bleeds, apply pressure to the wound using sterile gauze or bandages

Treat a Cut Finger Step 4

Step 4. Check the depth of cut

A deep sore that cuts through the skin and is too open, exposing fat or muscle, will need stitches; a cut that is more on the surface of the skin, and that bleeds very little, can be treated at home.

  • Closing the wound properly with stitches in the first few hours after cutting will minimize scarring and decrease the risk of infection.
  • Generally, a cut is only considered light and treatable without the need for stitches when it is less than 3 cm long, less than 5 mm deep and there are no wounds on the lower structures of the skin (muscles, tendons, etc.).
Treat a Cut Finger Step 5

Step 5. Stop the bleeding

Lighter cuts usually stop bleeding on their own after a few minutes, but if there is blood oozing, apply light pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or sterile bandage.

Elevate the cut by lifting your finger to head height, just above the heart line. While lifting your finger, keep the bandage on the wound to absorb the blood

Treat a Cut Finger Step 6

Step 6. Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment

When the bleeding has stopped, apply some aminoglycoside antibiotic (neomycin) or a polypeptide antibiotic (bacitracin) to help keep the cut surface moist. These products will not speed up healing, but they will prevent an infection and encourage the body to begin the natural wound healing process.

Some people may develop a redness because of the components present in these ointments. Discontinue use if this happens

Treat a Cut Finger Step 7

Step 7. Bandage the cut

Cover it with a bandage to keep it clean and prevent the invasion of harmful bacteria.

Wear a waterproof bandage or bandage to keep the bandage in place while you shower. If the bandage gets wet, remove it, let the wound dry in the open air, reapply the creams you used and put on another bandage

Treat a Cut Finger Step 8

Step 8. Take over-the-counter pain relievers

Take ibuprofen if you are in pain as it will relieve you. Follow the directions on the package insert and don't overdo it.

  • A light cut should heal in a few days.
  • Do not take aspirin as the medicine is a well-known blood thinner and will make the cut bleed even more.

Part 2 of 2: Keeping the cut clean

Treat a Cut Finger Step 9

Step 1. Change dressing once a day

It is also important to change it when it gets wet or dirty.

Once the wound has sufficiently healed and the scab is forming, remove the bandage and allow it to air dry to speed healing

Treat a Cut Finger Step 10

Step 2. See a doctor if the cut becomes swollen, reddened, filled with pus, or when you feel a fever

These are symptoms of a possible infection and should be examined by a healthcare professional.

  • When you experience loss of mobility in your hand or numbness in your finger, you probably have a more serious infection and need to see your doctor right away.
  • Red lines radiating from the cut are a symptom of a serious infection and need urgent medical attention.
  • When the cut is caused by a bite from an animal or human being, go to the doctor and have him examine you. A bite from an animal, particularly a raccoon or a squirrel, can infect you with rabies. Domestic animals and humans contain bacteria in the lining of the mouth which, when they enter the skin, can significantly increase the chance of getting an infection.
Treat a Cut Finger Step 11

Step 3. Take a tetanus shot if the cut is deep or dirty

When the doctor has cleaned and sutured the cut, ask him or her to give a tetanus injection to prevent an infection.

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