How to Heal a Paper Cut
Aaargh. Quick as flash, that nasty piece of paper flicked over your finger and inflicted that most painful of minor injuries: the paper cut. And now it’s bleeding like crazy. You need to know how to heal a paper cut and quick! Most paper cuts are minor and heal very quickly. But like any other cut, you need to treat it properly.
Part One: Wash and Dry
It is okay if it bleeds for a bit, as that will naturally wash away bacteria. But pretty soon you will want to stop the bleeding. You could consider sucking on it or swiping it on your jeans! But none of those unsanitary methods will protect the cut from bacteria and infection. So instead: wash with soap and water and dry with a clean cloth or clean paper towel, applying compression if needed to stop any lingering bleeding. When you are sure that the bleeding has stopped, it is time for step two.
Part Two: Disinfect
Now you want to treat the wound against infection. Even a small cut can permit the introduction of bacteria and subsequent problems. At this point, you have some choices of antibacterial or protective agents to apply to the wound. Using a clean cloth or cotton swab, gently dab the cut with:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Neosporin or other commercial antibacterial ointment
- Petroleum jelly
- Whiskey? Well, only if nothing else is available.
Part Three: Cover and Go
Cover it up. Conventional coverings like a bandage are fine. You can find the right size and shape in almost any brand. Or you can use a spray-on bandage that will likely also include an antibiotic. These products spray on easily and protect the wound without additional covering. And some people recommend a little super glue. Try that at your own risk! The goal is to make sure that the cut is covered and not exacerbated by your activities and movement.
Be sure to check the cut every couple of days: it should heal rapidly and without undue redness or swelling. If you see redness, swelling, red lines advancing toward the core of the body from the wound, then that is a sign of infection. You might need further treatment from a doctor or clinic.
Paper cuts are nasty and irritating but rarely dangerous. Treated properly, they are just a curable annoyance.