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Practice Smart Wound Healing

Quick action can keep small mishaps from turning into big health problems. If left untreated, even a minor injury can become infected — serious for anyone, dire for those with a chronic illness like diabetes. Having a well-stocked first aid kit or medicine chest is just as important for seniors as it is for young children, yet many people don’t think about the essentials needed for treating a minor wound: an easy-to-use wound cleanser to remove any debris from an abrasion or scratch and clean out the wound thoroughly; an antibacterial ointment to apply; bandages and tape in assorted sizes, especially those with finger contours to stay in place around a knuckle; and sterile gauze and tape to protect an area too large for a regular bandage. Many of these items are available in the store in the "Wound Care" section of Skin Care. Severe abrasions and deep cuts—when bleeding persists even after applying pressure for 15 minutes or if the edges pull apart, indicating the need for stitches—should be seen by your doctor immediately.