Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children skin wound warning signs Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Ear Injury Skin Wound

Minor cuts, abrasions and puncture wounds from an ear injury that do not require medical care can be treated at home.

Initial care includes:

  • Control bleeding with direct pressure.
    • Use a gauze or clean cloth directly on the wound.
    • Maintain the pressure for at least 10 minutes.
    • Do not keep looking at the wound.
  • Clean the wound with mild soap and water. Running water can help remove dirt.
  • Gently dab the wound with hydrogen peroxide to remove clotted blood or debris. Do not scrub or re-injure the wound.
  • Be sure there is no dirt or other foreign material left in the wound.
  • A butterfly bandage can be used to close very small, clean cuts.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment and a dry dressing.
  • Ear wounds may be left uncovered.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Protect and rest the injured ear.

Ongoing care for minor skin wounds includes:
  • Abrasions may be cleaned 2-3 times a day with a mild soap such as dilute baby shampoo.
  • Gently clean scabs of the face with a warm, wet, soft cloth and hydrogen peroxide - try not to cause bleeding. Do not disturb dry scabs in other parts of the body.
  • Dry the wound gently, and completely, with a clean towel or gauze.
  • Apply an antibiotic as needed.

Tetanus Considerations
Tetanus shots (boosters) can be given up to three days after an injury, as long as you have had all your tetanus shots in the past. A tetanus booster seldom needs to be given right at the time of the wound. This is not an emergency and can be done in the doctor's office or clinic.

A tetanus shot is necessary right away if you have not had three tetanus shots at any time in your life.

You need a tetanus shot within three days for:
  • A dirty wound and you have not had a tetanus shot in the last five years
  • A clean, minor wound and you have not had a tetanus shot in the last ten years

Continue to Ear Injury Warning Signs

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Ear Injury References
  1. Balbani AP, Sanchez TG, Butugan O, Kii MA, Angelico FV Jr, Ikino CM, D'Antonio WE. Ear and nose foreign body removal in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1998 Nov 15;46(1-2):37-42. [10190703]
  2. Rozsasi A, Sigg O, Keck T. Persistent inner ear injury after diving. Otol Neurotol. 2003 Mar;24(2):195-200. [12621331]
  3. Steele BD, Brennan PO. A prospective survey of patients with presumed accidental ear injury presenting to a paediatric accident and emergency department. Emerg Med J. 2002 May;19(3):226-8. [11971833]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.