Basic cuts and scratches are easy to know what to do with, but what about deeper lacerations? How are you supposed to know if a wound is serious enough to go to the doctor for it?

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road helps answer those questions below, so keep reading.

  • Here’s what to do: First, look at how deep and wide the laceration is. You should seek medical attention if the wound is deeper or longer than half an inch, opens so wide that you can’t get the edges together with just a little pressure or has ragged edges.
  • What to do after: Monitor the amount that your cut is bleeding. If it hasn’t stopped bleeding in 10 minutes, even after applying direct pressure for that length of time, seek professional medical care.
  • What to do next: Do some basic first aid on the cut. Apply pressure on the laceration, rinse it under running water, wash the surrounding area with soap, clean out debris with sanitized tweezers and put a dry bandage or gauze on it to keep the bleeding under control beforehand.
  • Additionally: Take the location of the cut into account. Lacerations on places like the face, joints, hand, genitals and near the eye will require medical attention.
  • Something else to consider: The cause of the laceration. If the wound was caused by something like an animal bite or a rusty, pointed object, seek professional medical care as you might need a tetanus shot in addition to stitches.
  • Also: Watch out for signs of infection. If there are red streaks around the laceration, increased swelling, pus or you have a fever of 100 F or more, seek medical attention ASAP.
  • Action steps to take: If the cut falls into any of these categories, you’ll likely need stitches, so visit our AFC center ASAP!
  • Doctor recommendations: It can be easy to panic, but try your best to keep a cool head and remember the first aid basics when you do suffer a cut: Apply pressure, rinse the wound with cold water and bandage it up. Do this first before heading to our AFC center!

Do you think you might need stitches? Don’t wait to visit our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road center!