Wound care myths and facts

  • By Team TDO

As we journey through life we all accumulate skin wounds, cuts, gashes, burns and bruises in some form or the other. Some of these are not even serious enough to warrant medical care, while at times certain wounds might require urgent medical attention and care. Although everyone has a first aid box at home, treating and healing wounds is a subject matter of great differences in opinion. Some believe in letting the wound be and let nature do the healing; some prefer to dress up wounds and keep them safe from extra polluting agents. Here are some of the wound care myths that we often come across.

  1. Leaving wounds open:
    There is a prevalent myth that wounds heal better if left open or undressed. The opinion seems to stem from the fact that leaving the wound open allows it to breathe and thus heal faster and better. However this isn’t true. Leaving a wound open can cause scarring on the skin and there is all the more chance of dirt and germs getting in the way of the healing process. So bandaging a wound, whether big or small is the best method of protecting it and ensuring that the skin cells bond together and form new skin when the scab falls off upon healing.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide is an absolute angel when it comes to healing wounds:
    Hydrogen Peroxide has had an unusually long run of luck as the preferred liquid when it comes to burns, bruises and what not! When a child comes rushing in bawling from a bruised knee the first thing that mother thinks of is daubing a generous helping of Hydrogen Peroxide on it. Hydrogen peroxide could actually make wounds worse. So the best option is to first gently wash the wound with saline solution and apply a gentle antiseptic if the wound isn’t too serious or deep.
  3. Burns need ointment immediately:
    Applying ointment on wounds can actually work as a lid on the burnt area, so underneath the ointment the burn continues to simmer, bubble and froth! By using ointment or grease on wounds, you may actually be causing the burn to go deeper in to the skin. Running water over burning wounds is a far better option. For not very serious burns hold it under running water for at least ten minutes before you bring on the antiseptic and burns ointments. If the burn forms large blisters then it is better to have it treated by a medic rather than wait for water to heal it.
  4. If it is itchy then rip the plaster off:
    Itching in most cases indicates healing of a wound, however at times children can really scratch the itch and reopen a healing wound. So if a bandaged wound is causing an itching sensation then ensure that the person doesn’t scratch it worse! There is also that possibility that the dressing is causing the itchy sensation or even the possibility of a fungal or yeast infection could be attacking the wound. For this whenever it itches, it is better to change the bandage or dressing after checking the wound, to rule out the possibility of infections.