Injury: Preventing Scars

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about recovering from injuries. Injuries as severe as severed limbs can be repaired with advanced surgical techniques. Less-serious injuries may not be as life-altering, but you should still take steps to prevent permanent damage.

If you properly care for minor injuries like cuts and scrapes, you can reduce your chances of infection, help speed healing and prevent scarring. Dr. James Thornton, a plastic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should first stop the bleeding by applying pressure with gauze or tissue paper. Then use cold water to wash any debris from the wound. Use a mild soap to clean the area around the wound, but don’t use soap directly on the wound. Apply antibiotic cream daily and bandage the wound if it’s in an area that will be rubbed by clothing. Scabs are nature’s bandages, so leave them alone. If the wound becomes red or warm, or oozes discharge, seek medical attention.

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September 2011

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