The cut or laceration should be cleaned promptly to reduce the chance of infection setting in and spreading to other parts of the body. Plain water is effective as a cleanser. Antiseptics can actually cause possible skin damage and slow healing in some cases. It is best to simply rinse the cut or laceration off and keep it clean by covering it with a sterile dressing pad until arriving at Metro UrgiCare.
A cut or laceration that is full of dirt, glass, gravel or other debris has the potential for being serious. Thorough cleaning of the wound can be challenging, so it is best to have the doctor take care of it. Even a small amount of dirt or debris can work its way into a cut or laceration and cause serious infection later. If a cut or laceration is larger than 5 cm in size, it may require stitches. Similarly, cuts or lacerations that are very deep (even if less than 5 cm in size) often require stitches. A deep cut or laceration can damage deeper tissues like nerves and tendons if it is not treated promptly. With serious cuts or lacerations, the doctor may take an x-ray image of the wound to make sure that there is no hidden debris that requires extraction before treating the surface part of the wound.
Gaping wounds need to be dealt with by a doctor so as to minimize damage and scarring. Stitches may be used for deeper gaping wounds, and in some cases, a surgical adhesive may be used as an alternative. The doctor will always wait to make sure that the wound is not infected or harboring any type of debris before closing it.