Remedies for Healing Cuts and Wounds
Children and adults alike suffer from cuts and wounds at some point of time in their lives. Wounds and cuts refer to breaks in the skin that may be smooth or jagged, deep or surface. There are cuts and wounds that may cause extensive blood loss while others may have foreign objects or debris embedded within. Wounds and cuts may injure your skin, muscles, tendons, nerves and even the bones. Most wounds tend to heal in time without any major medical treatment. While the healing process continues you may notice redness and swelling of the skin, tenderness, and bleeding. However, you must call 911 or contact your doctor immediately if your wound bleeds profusely or if it gets infected and pus appears at the site of the wound. Medical assistance will also be required if the pain does not disappear after a few days, or the cut is bigger and deeper that you can see the bone or muscle inside the wound.
Accidents or some type of trauma usually causes wounds and cuts but they can also be caused by surgery, heat burns, exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures and radiation. Wounds take a longer time to heal as you age or if you suffer from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, undergo radiation or chemotherapy or use steroid medication and smoke regularly.
Before anything else, it is very important to clean the wound thoroughly. Use water and a gentle soap to remove all dirt and debris from the site. Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to the cut to remove deep-seated debris but be careful as an excess of hydrogen peroxide can damage the surrounding skin. Alternatively you can apply tincture of iodine to the cut to stop bleeding and prevent an infection from developing. If the wound is bleeding, keep that part of the body raised above the level of the heart to stem the blood flow. You can also apply pressure to the wound with the help of a gauze pad or bandage to stop the bleeding. For cuts that are less than half an inch in size, you should attempt to keep the wound closed by applying bandage strips. However, do not place the gauze or bandage directly on an open wound as it can stick to the skin. Remember, a little bit of air circulation goes a long way in repairing the wound. At night put a protective layer of petroleum jelly on the cut or scab (as it heals) to prevent you from picking at it and spreading the infection.
You can then try the following home remedies for healing cuts and wounds:
- Apply crushed garlic to the site of the cut or wound to help speed up the healing process. Allicin is a compound present in garlic that is a powerful anti-microbial agent and helps get rid of any infections. However, garlic can irritate the skin so discontinue this treatment if you experience any undesirable reaction.
- Blend half an onion with a little honey and apply this to a scrape or sore. Leave this on for one hour and rinse off with warm water. Onions also contain allicin and work in the same way as garlic but are less irritating to the skin.
- Turmeric powder applied to the wound will help stop bleeding and swelling as it is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. Wrap a bandage around the cut to prevent the turmeric from staining your clothes.
- Honey is an excellent home remedy for cuts and bruises. Simply apply a thin layer of honey to the cut or scrape and allow it to work its magic by drying out the wound and preventing any infection from developing.
- Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to one pint of water. Soak a clean cloth in this mixture and apply to scabs of healing wounds to help kill bacteria and encourage the scab to fall off naturally.
- Aloe vera is an age-old remedy to treat skin conditions. These also include cuts, scrapes and burns. Cut open the leaf of an aloe vera plant and apply the gel within to the skin. You can repeat this every few hours until the wound heals.
- For a bleeding wound, put coffee powder on the wound to stop the blood flow. You can also rub a slice of lemon on the bleeding cut but be warned – this may sting!
- Herbal treatments for cuts and wounds include calendula, marshmallow, chamomile and Echinacea. These are available in the form of topical ointments and creams and should be applied to the site of the cut or bruise. However, never apply herbs to an open wound without consulting your doctor first.
- Vitamins B6, C, E, zinc and beta carotene supplements are recommended to speed up the healing process and reduce chances of infection from cuts and wounds.