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How to Naturally Clean Cuts, Scrapes, and Boo Boo’s

by in First Aid, Kitchen Sink, Lifestyle Tips March 10, 2009

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PhotobucketMy friend, Paramedic Richelle Owens, is here today to tell us the basics on how to clean and maintain minor cuts and scrapes.

Remember that less is more when it comes to wound healing. The worst infections I have seen are usually from the over enthusiastic using a bunch of funky natural medicines, or applying vitamin E oil to a wound before it has scarred up.

The body wants to intrinsically heal.  Be sure to have your nurse or doctor check out your latest “boo boo” if it is seems to be beyond the average cut or scrape.

I use Cleanwell antibacterial soap (made with thyme) and Burt’s Bees “Rescue Ointment” to help with scar reduction (and for over-dramatic children that just think they need a little dab of love as well as a colorful band-aid.)

How to Clean Cuts, Scrapes, and Boo Boo’s:

1. Flush the area well with water and mild soap, or even just a clean washcloth and water. DO NOT use harsh products like rubbing alcohol or peroxide… those will burn your kiddo’s wound like crazy! Friction is the key to removing the germs, so washing with water and a little scrubbing is BEST.

2. Dry the area with a clean cloth.

3. Just a dab of Antibacterial Ointment and a sterile bandaid or small bandage with cloth tape.

4. Keep the site covered and dry to prevent secondary contamination and infection. Remove the bandage, wash/dry and reapply antibacterial ointment once a day or as needed, and the wound will heal in no time!

If signs of infection appear such as redness, heat, oozing, pus, pain or so forth please contact your doctor or nurse immediately.

Author: Richelle Owens is a Paramedic, Firefighter, EMT and mother of two little girls in North Carolina.

2 Comments
  1. Neat, concise little article, but I wonder about “funky natural medicines” … in my experience, folks who turn to natural alternatives are conservative when it comes to applying them to wounds. Those who employ over-the-counter remedies, on the other hand, slather them on like bacon grease on their smothered potatoes.

    Is it possible that was a typo?

  2. Hi Wayne- it really can go either way, I guess that was just my tongue in cheek way of saying be careful using natural medicines if you don’t know what you are doing.

    Yes, I agree that most people that use natural medicines are pretty conservative, me included, but I have seen some ugly things happen when the wrong natural medicine has been used by a patient (not prescribed or recommended properly by a naturopathic physician) and they probably would have been fine had they chosen the route of basic wound care.

    Less really is more when it comes to minor cuts and scrapes. What I have seen commonly in my eight years of experience in family medicine and urgent care, is patients applying the vitamin E oil to their wound instead of to their scar. Vitamin E inhibits the inflammatory process needed for the wound to close and heal.

    I have also seen some really bad results from people trying to use natural medicines for surgery scars, when the basic protocol from their physician likely would not have caused such an infection. The problem with natural medicines and wound healing is that many people don’t understand that the inflammatory process must engage in order for the wound to close, and that most herbs and other natural remedies are anti-inflammatory and thus the 7-10 days that it normally takes for a wound to properly close and remodel will be prolonged because the body actually needs some inflammation to create the scar tissue that will be the initial matrix holding the wound together.

    Great question, you would think I would naturally be on the other side of the fence on this one. 🙂

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