Best way to care for cuts & scrapes?

Ok… medical Dopers, here’s a question for you:

What’s the best way to care for cuts and scrapes not requiring stitches or other professional medical attention?

Does it matter if you use an antiseptic or an antibiotic ointment, or is just washing with soap & water good enough? If you need an antiseptic/antibiotic ointment, what’s the right way to go?

Soap and water.


This is what I do: wash it with mild soap and water, let it dry, put on some Neosporin ointment and put a band-aid on, and leave that on for a day. Then repeat the next day, and on the third day, just wash it and leave it unbandaged, so it can dry out and form a nice scab.

It’s always worked well for me.

From the linked article above:

So maybe the alcohol is not such a good idea.

webmd had the following useful advice

The coffee in the Army, they say is mighty fine. . . .

Yep, wash, Band-Aid and triple antibiotic ointment.

Don’t use alcohol, but hydrogen peroxide is okay for an initial cleaning. Alcohol is too harsh.

Simple cleaning and use of an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, followed by a bandage to keep it clean are good.

  • BiblioCat (IANADoctor, but I am an EMT)

Is neosporin (neomycin, bactracin, polymixin B) available without a prescription in the US?

It is, yes. It’s not uncommon to even find single-use packets of the stuff sold in first aid kits intended for home use.

How about those new liquid band-aids? Many say those are a fancy way of putting superglue on a wound.

My personal experience with them is positive. They keep the wound dry. They seal the wound with a layer of, well, clear paint, so it doesn’t hurt when your skin stretches, or when you bump into something.
Also, liquid band-aids are far less unsightly then band-aids, especially wet/dirty band-aids. And which band aid doesn’t get wet or dirty in the course of a normal household day?

This is what my husband, the cuticle-picker, does, but he usually only does the Neosporin/band-aid routine for a day. Works for him.

Put Windex on it.

Soap and water. I usually don’t even use a bandage. Never had a problem.

I use them only for paper cuts.

Is this bad medical advice, or a whoosh? :confused: :mad:

Haha, Windex??

I clean the cut/scrape with hydrogen peroxide, point ointment on it, and then a band aid. It seems to heal nicely! I’ve never used the liquid band aids but I’m curious to try them out. I know a lot of people that prefer them over the regular kind.

Mutter an obscenity, press a tissue against it until you’re not bleeding too much that people will notice, wipe subsequent drops of blood on trousers, keep working. At least that’s how I seem to always have to do it.

Related note …


It’s a reference to the character who used Windex to solve all troubles, medical as well as cleaning related. Can’t recall who exactly that was off the top of my head, perhaps the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding?