Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Wrist Injury Skin Wound

Initial home care for a wrist injury with a skin wound includes:

  • Apply direct pressure to control bleeding:
    • Use a gauze or clean cloth directly on the wound.
    • Maintain constant pressure for at least 10 minutes.
    • Do not interrupt the pressure, in order to look at the wound.
  • Clean the wound:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the wound.
    • Remove dirt or foreign material from the wound.
    • Running water can help remove dirt.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured area.

Ongoing home care for a wound includes:
  • Clean the skin gently:
    • 2-3 times a day
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the skin.
  • Dry the wound gently, and completely, with a clean towel or gauze.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Ibuprofen for pain
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.

Tetanus Considerations
A tetanus shot is necessary right away if you have not had three tetanus shots in the past.

If you have received three tetanus shots in the past, you need a tetanus shot within three days for a dirty wound.

Continue to Wrist Injury Warning Signs

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Wrist Injury References
  1. De Schrijver F, De Smet L. Fracture of the hook of the hamate, often misdiagnosed as "wrist sprain". J Emerg Med. 2001 Jan;20(1):47-51. [11165838]
  2. Haims AH, Moore AE, Schweitzer ME, Morrison WB, Deely D, Culp RW, Forman HP. MRI in the diagnosis of cartilage injury in the wrist. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 May;182(5):1267-70. [15100130]
  3. Musharafieh RS, Macari G. Salter-Harris I fractures of the distal radius misdiagnosed as wrist sprain. J Emerg Med. 2000 Oct;19(3):265-70. [11033273]
  4. Oskam J, Kingma J, Klasen HJ. Fracture of the distal forearm: epidemiological developments in the period 1971-1995. Injury. 1998 Jun;29(5):353-5. [9813678]
  5. Staebler MP, Moore DC, Akelman E, Weiss AP, Fadale PD, Crisco JJ 3rd. The effect of wrist guards on bone strain in the distal forearm. Am J Sports Med. 1999 Jul-Aug;27(4):500-6. [10424221]
  6. Wollman S. Patient education series. Sprains and strains. Nursing. 2003 Sep;33(9):47. [14501515]
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