Prepping wounds have always been at the cornerstone of medicine. Since ancient times, even before people understood the role of pathogens in causing infection, cleaning wounds was standard procedure. Nowadays, it is understood that pathogens are the primary cause of infection and that keeping wounds clean, disinfected, and protected from outside contamination. Prepping a newly injured area helps to ensure that the wound is not compromised and healing is not abated. This is where various antiseptics, whether organic or synthetic, comes into play. In the old days, wounds were disinfected using strong spirits like whiskey, brandy, rum or even disinfected using wine or vinegar steeped in herbs. Nowadays, wounds are disinfected using a variety of different synthetic medications. One of the most popular antiseptic solutions today is Betadine iodine solution, seconded by the newer ‘Solugel’ gel-type antiseptic.
If you’re new to do-it-yourself wound treatment, you may wonder why people are so keen on prepping wounds, and why leaving it to heal on its own isn’t always ideal or even advisable. Here’s a quick look at what you need to know about wound preparation:
Key Aspects of Wound Preparation
Cleaning the site – this applies to wounds that have been exposed to dirt, dust, or objects that have been exposed to contaminants. Wash the wound in warm, running water (or cool water if pain proves to be too difficult to handle) in order to remove any potential particles or contaminants in the affected area prior to proceeding with disinfection.
Preventing infection – one of the cornerstones of wound preparation is to prevent any possibility of infection by creating a sterile environment through the use of disinfectants. Any wound, irrespective of severity, should always be disinfected prior to being dressed.
Applying dressing to wound – dressing is commonly thought of as the ‘bandage’ or covering that keeps a wound protected from outside contaminants, but an alternative meaning for dressing is any substance which applied to a wound in oil, gel, cream or liquid form to help hasten healing and alleviate pain. Dressing gel such as Iodosorb which contains iodine; an established antimicrobial agent that helps to keep wounds moist while it facilitates proper skin regrowth, desloughing of damaged skin, and the proper removal of excessive exudate.
Applying a protective bandage or external dressing – to further ensure proper and fool-proof sanitation, a final layer of dressing such as medicated bandages or self-adhesive bandages are often usually applied. The type of bandage may vary depending on the severity of the wound or the type of injury, but all serve a singular purpose – to keep away dust and other contaminant particles while the wound is healing.
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