Introduction: How to Bandage Your Own Wound

An injury such as a cut or scrape can happen at almost any point in life. Whether you are in the kitchen and drop a sharp object like a knife or you're in the woods and run into a pointier-than-average stick, these accidents are just that: uncontrollable and random. Sometimes, these events happen when you are alone. In case the wound needs to be treated before professional medical assistance can be implemented, or perhaps if hospital treatment is unnecessary, you can benefit from knowing how to bandage your own wound.

Step 1: Get Materials

You will need:

Cleanser - This can be alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, soap and water, antibiotic or petroleum jelly

Fabric - You will need several clean towels or swabs to help clean off your wound.

Bandage - Wrap or typical bandages

Pain medication - Depending on the severity of the injury, this could help alleviate some of the pain.

Step 2: Wash Your Hands

First, you want to make sure you are not spreading germs from your hands to your wound, as this could increase the risk of infection. Be sure to use hot water, plenty of soap, and a clean towel for drying your hands. For this step we provided hand sanitizer, which is also effective at cleaning your hands. Do not rush this process or skip it. You may be panicked if you have a large cut, but staying calm and focusing on keeping the injured area clean is imperative.

Step 3: Stop the Bleeding

Before applying any materials, you will want to make sure the wound is as dry as possible and make sure all the bleeding has stopped. If the cut is minor, the bleeding should stop on its own or without much aid. If, however, you have incurred a large deep cut, then you will need to apply pressure to the wound. Grab a towel or fabric that will completely cover the wound and absorb the blood. Then, apply enough pressure to the area without causing yourself pain. Check every 30-60 seconds to see if the wound is still bleeding.

Step 4: Clean the Wound

Making sure the wound is clean before applying the bandage will make sure the wound won’t get infected after the bandage is applied. Clean around the afflicted area making sure not to inflict any more damage to the wound. Go around the wound with the alcohol swab trying to remove any dirt or debris in the wound.

Step 5: Apply the Antibiotic or Petroleum Jelly

By applying an antibiotic, this will allow the wound to heal better than without. These can prevent scarring and allow the wound to heal faster. Apply a small amount to the wound, making sure the whole wound has a light cover of Neosporin. Since your hands are clean it is okay to use one finger to help spread the antibiotic. (If you have rubber gloves use them.)

Step 6: Apply the Bandage

Using a regular bandage, rolled bandage, or combination of gauze and bandage, cover the wound applying slight pressure. You do not want to apply too much pressure or have the bandage feel too tight, but you need a good amount of pressure to be sure the wound will heal properly.

Wrap tightly and firmly around the wounded area. Making sure to move up as you go, just to be sure the whole wound gets covered by the wrap.

Once the wrap is applied and you're out of bandage, use tape or another securing device to hold the dressing into place. When applying the tape, make sure the bandage is still tight around the arm. This will ensure the wound is compressed and able to stop bleeding and will begin to heal naturally.

Step 7: Change the Dressing If Needed Once Per Day

Change the dressing if needed once per day. The body will heal the wound naturally, in doing that you need to make sure the bandage is cleaned thoroughly and the wound has the proper environment to heal in a timely manor.

Step 8: Visit a Hospital, If Necessary

If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding or causes an unnatural amount of pain, you should visit the hospital to get proper treatment. Not all wounds need a doctor's touch, but deep wounds or wounds that will not stop bleeding should be inspected by a health care professional just to be sure there is not significant damage or infection.