Mums, the occasional wound and cut is part and parcel of daily life. Oftentimes, you, like many others, don’t think too much and treat it with a variety of home remedies. However, did you know that there are many myths surrounding wound treatment?
For example, a seemingly harmless cut can turn into something more serious. Read on to find out more about common wound treatment myths and the right steps to take in treating wounds so you can better protect yourself and your family.
What Are Some Common Wounds?
For starters, it is important that you call a spade what it is. Know a wound when you see one, so that you can administer proper wound treatment. Of course, we don’t mean getting paranoid and rushing to the doctor for every tiny cut. What we’re talking about is identifying a wound and giving it the best care.
This is to ensure that it heals well and doesn’t leave a nasty scar. You wouldn’t want that, not on your precious little one for sure!
The occasional cut from chopping vegetables, the abrasions that your kids get when they scrape their knees at the playground, the burn you get from oil splatters in the kitchen or when your inquisitive toddler touches the iron – all of these are common wounds, accounting for about 89% of wounds1.
Less common wounds, on the other hand, include post-operative wounds, lacerations, blisters, corns, and cracked skin.
Myths Surrounding Wound Treatment
It’s likely that you’ve heard some old wives’ tales from the elderly around you or found some fail-proof remedy on the Internet rabbit hole to self-treat these seemingly innocuous wounds.
Well, you’re definitely not the only one. Many consumers resort to self-treating common wounds but 87% of consumers do not follow all steps the recommended wound treatment2.
Unfortunately, this can come at a price. Let’s take a look at some of these wound treatment myths and how they can potentially harm you and your precious little ones.
1. Rubbing alcohol to disinfect
It’s common for us to rub alcohol on wounds. Understandably so, as it is supposed to disinfect, isn’t it? However, contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not a good choice for treating wounds. Alcohol actually destroys living skin cells along with the bacteria, which slows down the healing process. Also, it burns when applied! Rubbing alcohol is a definite no-no for children and those with sensitive skin.
Solution: Experts recommend using alcohol-free products to cleanse the wound and keep infections at bay!
2. Cleaning wound with tap water or seawater
“You’re bleeding! Go, wash with water!” I’m sure many of us grew up hearing this and now say the same thing to our kids. But hang on, tap water isn’t germ-free, so you might be infecting your wound with more bacteria. (Yikes!) Water that is used to clean wounds must conform to medical standards.
Tap water, which is also subject to things like the condition of the piping system and stagnation of the water in the pipes, certainly does not meet that standard. In case you’re wondering, our tap water is definitely safe for drinking, just not for cleaning wounds.
As for seawater, if you’ve heard that salt aids the healing process, it’s a myth. In fact, it complicates the healing process by allowing bacteria to enter and increasing the risk of infection.
Solution: Use wound cleansing solutions that are approved and specially intended for wound treatment.
3. Wounds heal better when exposed to air and plasters are a breeding ground for bacteria
Another common one we’ve all probably heard – leave the wound uncovered and exposed to air so that it allows the wound to breathe and thus heals faster naturally. Wrong!
Modern scientific research has proven that proper wound care is essential. Leaving the wound open makes it vulnerable to bacteria and cause further harm. Microscopic bacteria are everywhere and are invisible to the naked eye. Need we remind you that for little ones, the likeliness of them hurting themselves in the same spot is especially high?
Solution: The top priority of wound is to keep a wound as clean and protected as possible, to ensure optimal healing. That is why after having cleaned the wound, always apply the right plaster (one that is breathable) to protect the wound from contamination that leads to infection.
4. Crusting is a good sign of healing
Crusting has made a reputation for itself – that it is a sign of healing. Well, it isn’t. Wounds that are left to dry in air will always create scabs, which make it harder for a wound to close itself, because new skin tissue will have a tough time forming under these dry conditions.
Right after you get a cut or scrape your body starts healing the wound. Red blood cells, fibrin, and platelets create a clot over your wound. White blood cells attack infection-causing bacteria. And in no time, a scab forms.
When scabs form, children (and sometimes adults) inevitably start picking at it. If you pick off the scab, you may not only reopen the wound and introduce bacteria, but can also result in larger scars..
Solution: Do not pick at scabs, ever. Apply a wound healing ointment to allow wounds to heal in a moist environment. Crust formation is prevented in a moist environment and the formation of new tissue remains undisturbed, decreasing the likelihood of scarring.
What happens to wounds that don’t receive proper care?
Mums, we don’t mean to scare you, but it is a fact that when the skin barrier is damaged, dirt and bacteria enters and that leads to infection. Tiny wounds and up to 5% of minor hand lacerations can get infected3.
Infections lead to sepsis, which is when your immune system releases a lot of chemicals into your blood and risk triggering widespread inflammation. In a rare worst-case scenario, this can even lead to organ damage4 so always err on the side of caution!
Experts Recommended Steps to Proper Wound Treatment
It just takes these 3 simple steps to ensure that you and your littles ones have proper wound treatment:
1. Cleanse the wound to prevent infection
Don’t underestimate a small wound! Irrespective of their size, wounds will heal better if they are first cleansed from dirt, bacteria and visible particles. Cleansing is essential for many types of acute wounds, such as cuts, abrasions, burns and open blisters. A clean and cleansed wound is the first step to an optimal healing.
We recommend to use the Hansaplast Wound Spray to cleanse wounds fast and pain-free. Hansaplast Wound Spray is intended for antiseptic wound cleansing through mechanical irrigation, which is the physical removal of dirt and harmful bacteria from the damaged skin. The formula of the Hansaplast Wound Spray is particularly skin-friendly and protects most living skin cells, which are essential for the skin’s regeneration. The solution is colourless, odourless and will prevent effectively from wound infections. It is also suitable for children and sensitive skin, so you don’t have to worry about irritations.
2. Protect the wound
Keeping a wound safely protected is the key to an undisturbed healing process. Using the appropriate plaster to cover your wound ensures protection from external contamination that leads to infection. Hansaplast plasters block 99% of dirt and bacteria to reduce the risk of infection and enable rapid, natural healing.
Hansaplast has recently introduced a new plaster specially developed for gentleness on children’s sensitive skin and easy, painless removal. The Hansaplast KIDS SENSITIVE plaster strips are hypoallergenic, with dermatologically approved skin compatibility. The cute animal designs will definitely distract and delight your little ones!
Choose from a wide range of Hansaplast plasters that best suit your needs. Remember to change the plaster daily for hygienic reasons!
3. Help wounds heal faster with less scarring
Remember what we said about maintaining a moist environment to prevent scabbing on the wound? Dry wound healing leads to crusting so you need to use ointments and special plasters to ensure that crusts don’t form. This way, you can look forward to accelerated healing with less likeliness of scarring and infection.
The Hansaplast Wound Healing Ointment (best used in tandem with the Hansaplast plasters) supports the healing of minor, superficial wounds such as cuts and abrasions, scratches, 1st and smaller 2nd degree burns. It works by creating a breathable film over your wound to prevent it from drying out and offers a protective layer to prevent bacteria from entering the wound.
In addition, it helps the wound to heal up to 2X faster compared to an untreated wound and reduces the risk of scarring. Don’t worry, it is free of colorants, fragrances, preservatives and is dermatologically tested for skin tolerability. Definitely suitable for babies and children!
Mums, now that you are equipped with the proper information about wound treatment, never take an everyday wound too lightly again. Ensure that you have the necessary products at hand, so that you can provide suitable wound treatment should the need arise. Don’t let a tiny cut escalate into more pain and tears. Nip it in the bud and ensure that you and your little ones heal in the best way possible!
Hansaplast is available at Guardian, Watsons and Fairprice.
- MW Research, Consumer survey; Q7: What kind of wound was that? Base: Total n=495, DE/UK/IT; May 2014.
- YouGov Online Panel 2016, How do you usually treat cuts / abrasions? (AU/CA/DE/ES/FR/IT/NL/UK/SA)
- RoodsariGS, ZahediF, ZehtabchiS, The Risk of Wound Infection after Simple Hand Laceration, World J EmergMed, 2015, 6(1), 44–47.; https://www.global-sepsis-alliance.org/sepsis