Facial Wounds: Improving Healing Times for Cuts and Scars
Improve the healing time of facial wounds and avoid scarring by practicing proper wound treatment.
You can cover up injuries on nearly every part of your body, but a wound on your face is more difficult to hide. Knowing how to treat cuts or scars properly is essential to reducing facial wound healing time and improving the chances of healing facial scars completely.
Initial Treatment Steps
When a facial wound occurs, the first step is to stop the bleeding. Using a clean cloth or medical gauze, apply pressure to the cut until bleeding has completely stopped. Keeping your head elevated above your heart will help stop bleeding and reduce swelling. Remaining calm and resisting the urge to cry is helpful because crying increases blood flow to the face, which can cause facial injuries to bleed more.
Cleaning a Facial Wound
Once the bleeding has stopped, cleaning the wound thoroughly will help to decrease your facial wound healing time. Wash your hands with soap and hot water, then dry with a clean towel to reduce the chances of infecting your wound. Gently clean the wound with soap and cool water. Warm water on an open wound will cause it to start bleeding again. Remove any dirt or debris with water and gentle patting with a clean cloth. If you must use tweezers to remove debris, sterilize them with rubbing alcohol. Do not use hydrogen peroxide because it can damage skin tissues.
Bandaging a Facial Wound
When the cut is clean, apply an antibiotic ointment directly to the wound. Providing the optimal level of moisture to the injury will improve your facial wound healing time. Place a sterile wound dressing over the wound and make sure it stays in place. Try not to move your facial muscles too much to keep the wound site from moving around as it begins the healing process. To prevent and reduce swelling, place an ice pack onto the wound for 10 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day.
Seeking Professional Treatment
When a facial cut is deep, pulled apart, or the result of an impact to the head, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If the cut is wide enough where you cannot pull the edges back together, the wound will require stitches to heal properly and reduce scarring. Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pus, fever, or heat coming from the wound. Infection can occur at any point during the wound healing process, so it is important to keep the wound clean and covered with a fresh new dressing daily.
Additional Wound Treatment
For the first 24 hours after a facial wound has occurred, do not take aspirin or NSAIDS because they can inhibit blood clotting and may increase blood flow to the facial area. During the first 48 hours after injury, avoid hot showers, heating pads, hot foods, and hot fluids, as these can increase swelling. Once the wound has closed, you can remove the bandage, but avoid sunlight exposure by applying sunscreen. Do not scratch an itchy wound or pick at any scabs, as this will only result in permanent scarring.
Healing Facial Scars
If you do end up with a facial scar, you can still treat it with silicone gel sheets. Wearing these sheets may help the wound fade and should be worn for at least three months after the wound has healed. If a scar is significant, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon may be consulted to determine if fillers, steroids, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or surgery can be used to further treat any healing facial scars.
Advanced Tissue has a variety of wound care supplies for facial wound treatment. Download our wound treatment product guide to learn how to improve facial wound healing time.