Ear infection and injuries are something which commonly happen to both children and adults. Inner ear infection affects the inner organs vital to hearing. Hence, inner ear infection should be immediately and professionally treated in order to prevent hearing loss. Outer ear injuries, however, are usually undergone by children aged 7 to 14, although numerous adults also experience the illness. Compared to inner ear infection, outer ear injuries are easier to take care at home and does not commonly lead to serious problems. In children, outer ear injuries are caused by their fast-paced activities, such as playing and participating in sports. Sharp objects also contribute to children’s experience of outer ear injuries. Cuts and wounds on the external ear can be treated using home first aids if it does not affect major blood veins.
How to care for ear wounds
Cuts, scrapes, scratches, and wounds on the external ears which are caused by minor accidents can be cared for at home, but the ones which are deep and involve vital ear parts will need professional assistance. If you experience minor external ear wound, follow these instructions to take care of it without nurse’s assistance.
- Wash your hands before treating the wound.
- Wash the wounded area with water and mild soap. Avoid rubbing the wound. Running water will be helpful to clean the wound thoroughly from any debris. This will also help stopping the bleeding.
- Apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the wounded area and avoid using iodine as it may cause scarring.
- Cover the area with wound dressing or bandage and keep it moist. This will not only heal the wound faster, but also cause less scarring.
- Change the bandage regularly after taking a bath.
How to bandage ear wound
Bandaging wounds in certain parts of the body can be difficult. This includes ear wounds. However, this is an important part of wound healing, as bandaging serves main functions to keep the wound from infection, to absorb bleeding, to provide moist environment for faster healing, and to provide additional support and protection from external hazards. Some tips on bandaging ear wounds include:
- Determine the location of the wounds—whether or not it involve the joint between the ear and the head.
- Determine the type and depth of the wounds. Most commonly, you can handle minor cuts and torn at home with cautions. However, major wounds requiring stitches should be handled immediately by professionals.
- Prepare tools for bandaging. Make sure the tools are put at your reach. Sharp scissors, adhesive tape, saline solution, and sterilized cotton might be helpful for you. If your wound bleeds a lot, you might want to provide some paper tissues as well.
- Determine the type of bandages to use. If the wound presents on the ear lobe and does not involve the joint to the head, you can use cotton gauze. However, ear wounds located at the point where the ear joins the head might require sterilized adhesive dressing, such as hydrocolloid.
- To bandage outer ear injuries, clean the wound and apply a clean piece of cotton gauze over the wounded ear lobe. Close the gauze together using an adhesive tape to make sure the dressing is secured and won’t come off.
- If the wound is located at the joint part between the ear and the head, use adhesive hydrocolloid to provide secure and hygienic dressing. To apply the dressing, fold the dressing half lengthwise. Use one-third of the adhesive dressing to cover the wound and the rest for securing it by attaching the dressing on to the head part of the ear.
- Change the bandage regularly, especially if the wound still bleeds.
- Do not scratch the bandaged wounds as it may slow the healing process down.
- It is better to always keep the wound bandaged in order to create moist environment needed for faster wound healing. However, the bandaged wound should always be kept sterilized to prevent infection.
- When the wound heal properly, you may take the bandage off, but be sure you do not pick the formed scabs, as picking it will restart the healing process and trigger worse scarring.