Whether you have suffered a wound due to an accident, burn, or trauma, or are dealing with an ulcer from a previous surgery, scar, or skin deterioration due to an underlying condition like diabetes or poor circulation, medical care may be necessary to speed healing and ensure a full recovery. When can you care for a wound at home, and when do you need a doctor’s care? This simple guide can help you decide.

Depth of the Wound

If the wound is more than ¼ inch deep, you may require stitches to close it. In addition, if there are jagged edges or any muscle or fat is visible or protruding, it may be necessary to have additional treatment to efficiently close and heal your injury. Don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you believe your wound is even moderately serious.

Cause of the Wound

If you suspect your wound is the result of complications of diabetes, poor circulation, or other condition, it’s important to consult a medical professional. It may be necessary to rule out underlying complications, and it may require more advanced treatment to heal. If the injury was caused by a human or animal bite, seek medical care immediately to avoid infection. Healthy adults should have a tetanus shot every ten years, in order to avoid a serious infection.

Blood Loss

Most small scrapes and cuts will stop bleeding on their own within a few minutes. If continuous pressure applied for 20 minutes does not completely stop the bleeding, it’s necessary to seek medical treatment to properly close the injury. Even if the wound is just “leaking,” it indicates damage to the underlying tissue and vascular structure that requires a medical professional’s care.

Your skin is the body’s largest organ, and it is designed to protect your body by being the first line of defense against invading germs. When the skin is compromised by an injury, it can’t do its job efficiently. Call today to learn more about treatments to speed a full recovery.