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How to care for wounds

Wounds are one of the most common types of injuries that people experience. Whether it’s a cut from a thorn in the garden, a burn from a hot kettle, or a scrape from falling off a bike, it’s important to know what to do when you experience a wound to promote healing and prevent infection.

Here are some different kinds of wounds and tips on how to care for them.

Cuts and grazes

One of the first things that you should do when you cut yourself is to wash your hands and clean the wound, to prevent contamination from germs and dirt which can lead to infection. You can use tap water or, if necessary, an antiseptic liquid.

Most small cuts will stop bleeding on their own, but you may wish to apply gentle pressure using a clean bandage or gauze and elevate the cut to help it along.

Covering the wound with an adhesive bandage will further help to protect the wound from infection. Make sure to regularly change the bandage to keep the wound clean - once a day should be sufficient, or whenever the dressing becomes wet, dirty, or begins to fall off.


If you’ve burnt yourself, it’s important to immediately run the burn under cold water, or continuously move the burnt area of skin through cool water for at least 20 minutes.

Similar to a cut, it’s essential to keep the affected area clean. If your burn blisters, do not attempt to burst the blisters, as this can leave open skin vulnerable to infection.

It can be difficult to assess the seriousness and depth of a burn by yourself, so if you’re in doubt, it’s always best to seek professional help from a pharmacist or doctor - especially if the burn is chemical, electrical, or there is no pain to the burn.

With any wound that breaks the skin, it’s helpful to keep your Tetanus booster up to date. Tetanus vaccines should be done every five to ten years - if you can’t remember when you last had one, your pharmacist or GP may be able to help.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make with wounds is to assume that it’s not serious enough to seek medical assistance. This often means that healing takes longer, scarring may occur, or the wound can become infected, leading to more serious complications. Capital Chemist pharmacists are experienced in caring for people with all kinds of wounds and can help you to identify the best course of action to promote recovery.

You may also be interested in the following:

Bites and stings. What to do?
Acute Wound Care

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Acknowledgement of Country

Capital Chemist acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live and gather as employees, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.