How to care for injured skin

Skin gets banged up sometimes. You fall and scrape your knee. Your finger gets a paper cut from your homework. You slide into third base and get a bruise on your thigh. It's pretty normal stuff. Here's what you should do: 

Scrapes and cuts

If you get a cut or scrape, you should:

  • Wash it with mild soap and water. 
  • Keep moist by applying petroleum jelly on it. 
  • Cover it with a bandage for a day or two. 
  • Change the bandage every day or sooner if it gets wet or dirty. 
  • Continue to use a bandage until the cut is totally healed. 
  • See a doctor if the cut or scrape starts hurting more, gets red or looks infected. If the cut is deep, bleeds a lot or just looks bad, see a doctor as soon as possible. You might need stitches to close it up and help it heal. Don't worry, the doctor will give you something so you don't feel the stitches.

Bruises

When you get a cut, your skin bleeds on the outside. If you fall and get a bruise, that means your skin is bleeding on the inside. If you get a bruise, put an ice pack or cold cloth on it so it doesn't swell so much.

If the bruise gets worse or becomes more painful, see a doctor.

Next: Acne: Pimples and zits.