Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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

Facial Injury Home Care

Home care for facial injuries includes:

Home care for nosebleed:
  • Pinch the nose firmly for 15 minutes without letting go. Make sure you are pinching the nose below the nasal bone.
  • Sit upright: do not lie down.
  • Breathe through your mouth.
  • Drink cold water to clear blood from your throat.
  • Seek medical care if the bleeding does not stop.
  • Do not remove blood clots from your nose once the bleeding has stopped.
  • Do not blow your nose for at least 2 days.
  • Do not take aspirin for one week after the nosebleed.
  • Avoid hot liquids.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.

Facial Injury Neuro Checks

Neuro checks should be performed once an hour, for the first 24 hours in someone with a facial injury.

Seek medical care immediately for:

Facial Injury Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with a facial injury include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Facial Injury Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with a facial injury include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Facial Injury Skin Wound

Most minor cuts, abrasions and puncture wounds to the face can be safely 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.
  • You may 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.
  • Cover the wound with gauze or elastic bandage. Facial wounds may be left uncovered.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Protect and rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured body part.

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 and a dressing 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

Facial Injury Warning Signs

Continue to Facial Injury Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Facial Injury References
  1. Hess CT. The art of skin and wound care documentation. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 Jan-Feb;18(1):43-53. [15714037]
  2. Moulin V, Auger FA, Garrel D, Germain L. Role of wound healing myofibroblasts on re-epithelialization of human skin.Burns. 2000 Feb;26(1):3-12. [1063031]
  3. Norman D. The effects of age-related skin changes on wound healing rates. J Wound Care. 2004 May;13(5):199-201. [15160575]
  4. O'Dell ML. Skin and wound infections: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 1998 May 15;57(10):2424-32. [9614412]
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