Treatment for Lacerations in Houston
When Do I Need to Seek Treatment for a Cut?
At Gemini Urgent Care, when treating a patient with a laceration, we’re often asked, “Should I have come in for this cut?” Ultimately, it is up to the patient to decide whether or not to seek medical attention for a laceration, but when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to have a doctor examine the wound. To help patients make an educated decision, we’d like to offer some general information on lacerations and treatment.
Most lacerations will benefit from being closed, especially wounds longer than half an inch.
The reasons for closing lacerations, either by suturing them, applying steri-strips, or using tissue glue, are:
- To restore appearance. If the wound is in a cosmetically significant area like the face, then it is more important to carefully approximate the wound edges to create the best possible result.
- To restore function. If deeper structures like tendons or muscle are cut, then permanent disability can result unless an appropriate repair is performed. Sometimes a wound on the hand that is not repaired properly can cause scarring that may affect the use of the hand.
- To stop bleeding. Always apply direct pressure to bleeding wounds, preferably with gauze and a finger rather than a tight circumferential bandage, but if the bleeding persists then the wound definitely needs to be evaluated and closed.
- To prevent infection. Lacerations need to be thoroughly cleaned, which sometimes is best done under local anesthesia. A nicely closed wound will heal much faster than a wound that is left open, and the risk of infection is lessened.
Here are some other general guidelines for lacerations:
- All puncture wounds should be evaluated by a physician because they tend to get infected.
- Wounds that are contaminated with dirt or debris should be evaluated by a physician, who can clean the wound better than you can by using an over-the-counter anesthetic.
- Wounds that possibly contain foreign material (like splinters or broken glass) should be evaluated by a physician. Foreign bodies left in a wound can cause persistent pain and increase the chance of infection.
It’s important to remember that if you haven’t had a tetanus shot within the past five years, then you should visit a doctor for an updated tetanus immunization, particularly if the wound was dirty.
Gemini Urgent Care provides the NASA area with an alternative to expensive hospitals and ER's by delivering fast, friendly, affordable medical treatment in a comfortable neighborhood setting.
Call our practice at (281) 572-5505 today. We provide fast and effective treatments for lacerations in Houston and beyond.
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