Posts Tagged ‘first aid’

Recipe for Cut Cleaning

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

What are the best ingredients for cleaning a cut?

a. Disinfectant and a cotton swab
b. Hydrogen peroxide
c. Soap and water

The answer is …


Honey as Medicine: The Yummiest Remedy

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte, Managing Editor

Did you know that properly stored honey never spoils? Yep, and it may help wounds from spoiling too. Integrative physician Robert Pendergrast explains:

[Honey] has strong antibacterial activity, mainly because of its low water/high sugar concentration: It literally sucks all the water out of bacteria.

Honey seems to be an effective wound treatment in certain situations. Of course, there are important precautions and guidelines. Find out more by checking out our article. It also covers whether a nighttime dose of honey can treat children’s coughs and whether bee stings—yes, stings—can treat arthritis. (Do be sure to read the precautions. For example, never give honey to a child under 12 months because of botulism risk.), giving a whole new meaning to “licking your wounds” …

Pssst … sign up for our free e-newsletter! You’ll get fascinating articles delivered once a month.

How to treat burns–and when to go to the doctor

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Continuing our skin-care series this week (see “Related Posts” at the end of this entry for more), I’ll now cover burns.

There a few general things to remember in treating burns caused by external heat.

  1. They are not immediately life-threatening unless they pose a risk to your airway from damage or swelling of your face or neck, or involve 10 percent or more of your skin surface.
  2. You can estimate skin surface by the rule of nines.  Each arm accounts for 9 percent total body surface, as does your face, including neck.  Each leg is 18 percent.  The front part of your trunk is 18 percent, as is the back part.  The last 1 percent goes for the genital area.  Another estimate is your palm is close to 1 percent.
  3. The first thing to do is to try to limit the damage.  Remove any hot or restrictive items and run cold water over the affected area.  Don’t use ice because it may constrict needed blood flow to the area.  Never use grease, butter or ointments that may hold the heat in.
  4. The first assessment on how to treat depends on surface area and depth of skin damage (degree). (more…)

When to see the doctor for cuts, puncture wounds and foreign bodies. Plus, home treatment.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009



by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.


Many people I see with skin trauma tell me they didn’t know whether the wound is serious enough to warrant coming in.

Here are some tips on when to see a doctor for a cut—and what you can do at home.Remember, this if for information only.Everyone is unique and specific recommendations need to come from your personal doctor. (more…)

Doctor Tips: How to treat poison ivy, oak, sumac–and what to have just in case

Monday, April 6th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The following is for information only.  Everyone has unique qualities or diseases that might affect treatment and healing.  Contact your personal health-care provider for specific advice.  These are generalized tips that may help until then.  I would love to hear additional ones from you.

First-aid supplies to have on hand for skin ailments:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes.
  • Tape. Any will do—even duct tape.  Of course, if you’ve had past skin reactions to tape, have plenty of hypoallergic or paper tape available.  Ideally, have several widths—or get a wide one and just tear it lengthwise to fit your need.
  • Gauze. Get a pack of non-sterile and some sterile nonstick.
  • Butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips.
  • Antibiotic ointment for cuts, scratches or breaks in the skin.
  • Hydrocortisone ointment, large tube, to treat skin inflammation, itching or irritation.  Not useful for cuts.  Use sparingly and not over one week on the face or two weeks elsewhere because it may start thinning your skin.

Other good items to have, but not essential:

  • Peroxide for cleaning wounds
  • Cotton-tip applicators for cleaning wounds or applying topicals (never for cleaning ears).
  • Aloe vera plant. The gel inside the leaf soothes about any superficial burn or rash.  Just break off a leaf near the bottom of the plant; take a knife and split it open; make multiple superficial horizontal and vertical cuts to get the gel out, and apply directly.
  • Domeboro tablets or powder.
  • Super glue (to make the tape stick better, not for gluing the wound shut).


Almost any plant can can cause skin irritation.  Some cause allergic reactions, with poison ivy, oak and sumac being most common.


How to treat a seizure: What to do if you see someone seizing

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

When I read Senator Ted Kennedy had a seizure at a public dinner on inauguration day, it got me thinking, does the average person know what to do if someone’s having a seizure?

As a teenager, I witnessed a seizure while I was at a park, and it scared me to death. (I scared easily as a teen.)  The man jerked and flailed uncontrollably in an unconscious state surrounded by onlookers, and no one knew what to do.

People yelled, “Hold him down so he won’t hurt himself!”  “Put something in his mouth so he won’t swallow his tongue!”  “Call an ambulance!”  After, what seemed like an eternity, he just lay limp and moaned.  Later I saw his friends help him up and they drove away.

Now that I am a doctor (said in hushed, hallowed tone) I know what I should have done.


© My Family Doctor 2010.
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