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How to Treat Minor Cuts and When to Seek Wound Care
04/01/2010

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Skin is the largest organ in the human body and often the body’s first defense against the intrusion of bacteria and infection. However, minor cuts, scrapes and other wounds provide openings for bacteria to enter that can lead to serious infection.

“Simply practicing good skin hygiene and properly caring for minor cuts and scrapes when they occur will help reduce your risk of getting a skin infection,” says Dr. Nicki Colbert, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville and medical director of the hospital’s Wound Care Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following guidelines to help avoid skin infections:

  • Shower after playing sports and use a clean towel to dry off. It is possible to be exposed to infection through small cuts in the skin if you come in contact with another person’s infected skin or germs on a previously used towel.
  • Clean cuts and scrapes immediately with clean water and soap to remove bacteria.
  • Keep cuts covered with a clean bandage to help reduce the risk of bacteria entering the wound.

“If treated properly, most minor cuts heal easily,” Colbert said. “However, certain symptoms could signal a serious infection or an underlying chronic illness and should not be ignored.”

If you develop an infection from a cut or wound, or if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your health care provider:

  • A rash that is red, swollen and warm. If this occurs, try to see your doctor the same day.
  • A rash that changes rapidly or is accompanied by a fever or pain. If this occurs, seek emergency care.
  • A wound that persists for thirty days or more may be a symptom of another illness or chronic disease.

For more information on treatment options for wounds in Stephenville, please visit TexasHealth.org/StephenvilleWoundCare or call 254-965-1171.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Stephenville.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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