A cut or laceration on scalp can be caused by variety of accidents. While minor cuts may heal quickly, larger and deeper cuts—referred also as dirty wounds, regarding the possibility of germs infesting the wound—may need closer attention. In most cases, scalp cuts occur as a result of blunt trauma. These cuts are generally easy to repair and heal with proper treatments. As long as no skull fractures and brain injuries are present, you can always treat cut on scalp at home.
How to treat cut on scalp
Scalp cuts that can be self-cared are those minor ones. If you are experiencing confusion, fever, vision problems, loss of consciousness, and severe nausea or vomiting, seek for an immediate medical help, as an injury to the brain may probably occur. If the cut is minor and you are performing wound care at home, here is the list of procedures you should do:
Stop the bleeding
Even with minor cuts on scalp, heavy bleeding is commonly involved. You do not have to be panicked. Instead, keep in mind that your scalp and face have got numerous blood vessels, which are close to the skin surface. This makes heavy bleeding almost always happen whenever the skin surface is torn or cut. As long as you are not experiencing a harsh blunt on the head, the wound might not be as serious as it seems. Hence, a proper self-care can be perform.
To stop bleeding from minor scalp cuts:
- Remove any visible objects from the wound, but do not remove any deeply-attached objects.
- Press firmly on the wound with a sterilized gauze. If there is an attached object on it, put the pressure around the object, not directly on it.
- Bleeding should stop within 15 minutes, but may continue to ooze for the next 30 to 45 minutes.
Clean the wound
Once the bleeding stops, wound cleansing should be performed. Scalp cut may not be easy to bandage, as there are some hair around the wound site, making it more difficult for the bandage to attach. To clean out debris attached to the cut scalp, irrigate the head with water. However, avoid using warm or hot water as it may damage the skin tissues and make the injury worse.
Dress the wound
Looking at the wound site, it is not easy to dress a cut on scalp. This is caused by the characteristic of the scalp, wherein the amount of hair is numerous, making any bandage difficult to attach on it properly. If you are failing to use either a butterfly bandage or a gauze to close the minor cut, you can use the hair around it to perform the task. Attaching your hair in certain way will be able to help your cut scalp edges to reattach and thus, the open wound can be closed. To do this:
- From one side of the cut, twist a sprig of hair using your thumb and index finger. Do this to the other side of the cut.
- Cross the sprigs over each other in a form of an X. pull enough to place the cut under the sprigs.
- Tie up the crosses sprigs with a dental floss to keep it in place.
- Repeat this until the sprigs completely close off the separated edges.
- Open up the ties regularly and clean the area around the cut before closing it off again.
When to seek medical helps
Although most scalp cuts are easy to treat at home, some others might be more harmful and thus, need medical attention. If you have got fractures on the skull, it is not recommended to treat the scalp lesion at home, as it is at a greater risk of infection and brain injury. Medical help is preferred considering some conditions, such as:
- Gapped edges. Some trauma may cause the injured scalp edges to gap. If this is what happens, you will need an immediate stitching performed by professionals.
- Unstoppable bleeding. Regarding the amount of numerous blood vessels on the scalp, bleeding accompanying a cut there is not surprising. However, bleeding which won’t stop within 15 minutes and keeps oozing for more than 45 minutes should be immediately treated. Otherwise, it may cause excessive blood loss that may end up in loss of consciousness.
- Diabetic patient. If you are diabetic, any minor wound should get medical attention. This is important, as mistreated wound in a diabetic patient can develop into a life-threatening condition.