Superficial cuts to the skin occur from time to time. Whether someone got a cut from handling a cat or other pet, a paper cut, or other cut that is not deep, some simple first aid can promote healing. It is common for people to want to know what is the quickest way to heal a cut.
First, the person needs to determine if the cut requires medical attention. If the cut is deep, a puncture wound such as a bite from an animal, or if the cut will not stop bleeding, the person should seek medical treatment. Puncture wounds may seem minor, but a puncture wound is more likely to become infected than a cut across the skin.
The most important step in helping cuts heal fast is to make sure the cut is thoroughly clean before treatment. If the cut is not clean, it can easily become infected. If the cut becomes infected, even if a scab forms, the cut may not heal properly. An infected cut becomes sore and inflamed. An infected cut needs to be treated by a physician.
To clean the cut, many people use soap and water. An antibacterial soap can be used. Some people prefer to use a first aid cleaning agent like hydrogen peroxide. After the cut is cleaned, the person should pat the cut and surrounding skin dry with a clean cloth.
To promote healing and prevent infection, an antibiotic ointment should be applied. A first aid spray can be used instead of antibacterial ointment. A sterile dressing like a bandage or gauze can help prevent dirt from entering the wound. Some people prefer gauze because it allows some air to be in contact with the cut. If all air is blocked from the cut, the cut may take longer to heal.
If a bandage is used that does not allow air circulation, the bandage should be removed once the scab forms on the cut. Keeping an air-blocking bandage on can trap moisture at the wound which inhibits the healthy formation of the scab and can make the wound more likely to become infected.
Some people add a variety of substances to cuts to try to make cuts heal fast. One example is petroleum jelly. Though petroleum jelly keeps skin soft, the bulk of this substance and lack of healing or anti-bacterial components makes it more likely to interfere with healing rather than speed up healing.