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First Aid for Cuts

Last updated March 5, 2018

A Cut is defined as a break in the skin. It may occur from sharp or pointed objects. In most cases, appropriate home care and medication is sufficient treatment.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Read This First

All severe Cuts should be evaluated by a trained medical professional, as soon as possible! DO NOT wait! Failure to obtain evaluation as soon as possible may result in serious injury or death. Call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately, if you experience any severe Cuts.

What is Cuts?

  • A Cut is defined as a break in the skin. It may occur from sharp or pointed objects
  • In most cases, appropriate home care and medication is sufficient treatment

What are the Causes of Cuts?

Cuts may be caused by:

  • Contact with sharp objects
  • Falls
  • Animal bites

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cuts?

The signs and symptoms of Cuts include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Sharp, localized pain

How is First Aid administered for Cuts?

First Aid tips for Cuts include:

  • Apply gentle pressure on the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. Try to elevate the affected part of the body if possible
  • Rinse the Cut thoroughly with clean water
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin)
  • Cover it with a bandage or sterile gauze for the first 1-2 days, until the wound heals; thereafter leave it open
  • Change bandages regularly
  • Seek medical assistance, if the wound is too deep/wide, bleeding does not stop, or there are any signs of infection like redness, swelling, pain, and purulent (pus) drainage
  • Tetanus prophylaxis if necessary. If you are unsure of the last tetanus shot, check with your physician for a booster dose

Who should administer First Aid for Cuts?

First Aid can be administered by the person themselves, or by someone nearby.

What is the Prognosis of Cuts?

The prognosis is usually good. However, one should carefully monitor the Cut for any signs of infection.

How can Cuts be Prevented?

  • Keep sharp objects away from children
  • Fall-proofing the house

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Stop the bleeding
  • Cleanse the wound
  • Tetanus prophylaxis
  • Monitor for infection signs

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 28, 2013
Last updated: March 5, 2018

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