The 6 Myths of At-Home Wound Care & How to Care for a Wound Properly

at-home wound care

While it is always recommended to attend a doctor for wound care, it is common for individuals to attempt their own at-home wound care. As with anything, there are correct and incorrect ways to care for a wound at home. 

From using alcohol to accelerate the healing of wounds to home-made wound dressings, there are a variety of home-wound care techniques. However, certain concepts are more effective than others. 

Proper wound care depends on the type of injury, the size, and location of the wound, as well as additional factors. Additionally, it’s always recommended to take preventative measures to prevent injuries from occurring, such as installing grab bars in your shower, tub, and bathroom

Let’s take a look at the 6 home wound care mistakes and how to properly care for a wound at home. 

Caring for a Wound at Home: Myths and Truths 

There are plenty of safe and effective ways to care for wounds at home, assuming the wound is not severe. By utilizing the right methods of treatment, individuals may accelerate their healing by 50% and reduce the risk of scarring. Here are the most common myths about at-home wound care.

Myth #1: “Letting the wound breathe promotes healing”

This is probably the most common misconception of home wound care known to man. When you have a cut or a scrape, leaving it uncovered and allowing it to “breathe” only invites germs and infection in. 

However, when an individual applies a plaster or bandage, the wound will become naturally moist, supporting the natural healing process. In other words, you should never leave your wound unprotected during the healing process unless you are prepared to care for an infection as well. 

Myth #2: “You should use a strong antiseptic to cleanse your wound” 

Many individuals believe that using strong antiseptics like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol is the best way to clean an open wound. While this will clean the wound, it may also rid the wound of essential white blood cells that aid the natural healing process. Additionally, these products are just all-around harsh on the skin, causing the wound to become too dry to heal in a timely manner. 

Instead of using harsh antiseptic cleansers, use a mild disinfectant that can rid the wound of dirt, bacteria, and visible particles. In doing so, your body will continue to produce the white blood cells needed, as well as staying moist throughout the healing process. 

Myth #3: “Pop your blister to accelerate healing”

Many individuals think that popping a blister will speed up the healing process. However, this cannot be farthest from the truth. The bubble that forms with a blister is meant to act as a protection layer from outside elements. In other words, popping a blister will only leave your wound exposed to bacteria, eventually causing an infection. 

To properly care for a blister, leave the blister intact. If the blister is on a body part that frequently moves or rubs against things, you may want to use a bandage. By protecting your blister and leaving it intact, you will reduce the risk of infection substantially. 

Myth #4: “Use Iodine to clean your wound”

It is common for individuals to douse their wounds in iodine with the intent of speeding up the healing process and cleaning the wound. However, many studies have shown that using iodine on wounds only delays the healing process. This is because iodine is known to negatively influence tissue regeneration as a result of its toxic effects on host cells.

Instead of using iodine, use a gentle antiseptic or antibacterial wound aid. 

Myth #5: “Use butter to clean your wound”

Many people have been using butter as a healing aid for burns. However, using a greasy substance that is intended for cooking will only increase the risk of infection. Instead of using butter on a burn, run cold water over the affected area (in cases of moderate burns). 

In doing so, you will limit the damage done to deeper skin cells. Additionally, the cold water technique is beneficial to chemical burns as well. This is because water may help to dilute whatever harmful substance that caused the chemical burn. Additionally, adding a bandage to your burn could help to prevent further damage or infection from occurring during the healing process.

Myth #6: “Itching always means a wound is healing properly”

While itching can indicate that the healing process is taking place, it can also be a sign of infection. If you notice that your wound is itchy, red, warm, and swollen, it is likely that you are dealing with an infection. You should always contact your doctor if your wound becomes itchy, oozes, itches, or begins to throb. 

How to Properly Care for a Wound At Home 

Wound care can be confusing, especially when you are attempting to care for a scratch, cut, burn, or gash at home. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the proper ways to prevent contracting harmful microorganisms and infection. 

Let’s take a look at the best way to care for a wound while staying home:

  • Immediately run water over the wound to irrigate it. 
  • Use mild soap, an antiseptic, or an antibacterial to clean the wound site, rinsing with water and patting the wound-site dry. 
  • Apply non-scented petroleum jelly to the wound to promote moisture and accelerate the healing process.
  • Small cuts, abrasions, and scrapes can remain uncovered. However, more severe cuts and scrapes should be covered to avoid infection. 
  • Continue to monitor wound appearance and note any signs of infection. 
  • Replace wound dressings as needed to prevent infection.
  • Keep the wound dry while you shower or bathe. 

Contact your doctor if you notice any signs of infection. 

At-Home Wound Care Supplies at Kelmedix

Caring for a wound at home can be difficult. Fortunately, Kelmedix has your back. To purchase the proper wound treatment supplies for at-home care, head on over to our online store. If you have any questions or concerns, schedule a consultation with our licensed and knowledgeable medical care technicians. 

References:

  1. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/injured-skin/burns/wound-care-minimize-scars
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20619933/