Does My Cut Require a Trip to Urgent Care?

A closeup of a man sitting down and examining his hand that is wrapped in a bandage.

Accidents happen all the time.

From a paper cut or skinned knee to the slip of a kitchen knife while chopping vegetables, almost everyone experiences a cut at some point in their lifetime. Most cuts are minimal, and some are so small and superficial that they barely bleed.

Although most cuts can be treated at home and heal relatively quickly, some require a trip to urgent care or the emergency room for further evaluation and care, especially if they cause excessive bleeding or are deeper than normal.

Knowing when to visit urgent care for a cut is important to stay on top of your health and ensure proper wound healing.

How to tell if a cut requires medical attention

If you’re worried about the size, shape, location or depth of a cut, it may be a good idea to visit a local urgent care for further evaluation and treatment. Although most cuts can be cared for at home without complications, there are specific times when you should seek medical attention.

Visit Emerald Coast Urgent Care for a cut when

  • You believe you need stitches to close a wound and stop the bleeding properly
  • You have experienced a minor animal bite
  • You have mild to moderate facial wounds
  • Your wound is serious but not life-threatening
  • Your mild to moderate cut has signs of infection

When to seek emergency care for a cut

Some cuts are too large and deep to be appropriately treated at an urgent care facility. If you experience a severe wound, you should head to an emergency room for immediate medical treatment.

It is recommended to seek emergency treatment for a cut when

  • The bleeding won’t stop, or blood is spurting out
  • The laceration is deeper than one-quarter inch
  • The cut is made by a rusted object
  • Muscle, fat, or bone is exposed
  • The cut is located over a joint that causes it to open every time you move
  • The injury is through a major artery or vein
  • There is an object embedded into the wound
  • You have sustained an amputation

For immediate care for a deep cut, call 9-1-1 now.

How to care for a minor to moderate cut

If your cut is minor to moderate and can be effectively treated at home, you want to ensure that you properly clean and care for it immediately following your accident.

Follow these steps to care for your cut:

  1. Apply even pressure to the affected area for up to 10 minutes to slow and stop bleeding using a clean cloth or bandage.
  2. Clean the wound with soap and water.
  3. Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  4. Cover the wound with a bandage.
  5. Clean, reapply antibiotic ointment and apply a new bandage daily until your cut begins to heal properly.

Once your wound is covered and cared for, it is important to watch for signs of infection that may include warmth, swelling, redness or drainage. If you believe your wound is an infection, visit an urgent care for further evaluation.

Timely care for cuts at Emerald Coast Urgent Care

If you’ve experienced a cut that requires immediate attention, visit Emerald Coast Urgent Care today so that we may examine your injury and provide the treatment you need sooner.

We are open seven days a week for all of your needs. No appointment is required; simply walk in to get the wound care you need now.

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