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Treating Simple Skin Infections at Home by by Lisa Lisa Vaske, Vaske, ARNP, ARNP, After After Hours Hours Pediatrics Pediatrics Urgent Urgent Care Care

Parents often wonder when it is necessary to take a trip to the doctor after their child is injured. The good news is most skin injuries can be treated successfully at home!


Bruises are areas of discoloration on the skin due to minor bleeding into the skin; but the skin itself remains intact. Some swelling may occur over and around the area. To treat bruising, place a light cloth over the area and apply ice over the cloth to prevent a freezing injury to the skin. Icing for 20-30 minute cycles will lessen discomfort due to bruising.

Superficial Wounds

Scratches, scrapes, abrasions or floor/rug burns are superficial wounds that do not

go all the way through the skin and are not deep enough to require stitches. Ensure dirt, gravel or other debris is removed by gently cleansing with cool water and antibacterial soap. Apply an antibiotic ointment and protective bandage.


Lacerations (cuts), flaps and tears are often superficial enough that skin cleansing, pressure and a bandage is all that is necessary for treatment. However, if bleeding continues after applying gentle pressure for more than five minutes, or the area gapes open during movement or while at rest, then a visit to the doctor is necessary. Cuts that appear minor should be looked at by a trained professional to determine if stitches would minimize even small

scars. Acetaminophen (“Tylenol”) or ibuprofen (“Motrin”) will lessen the discomfort from minor skin injuries.

The area will be red, warm and tender to touch. Your child’s doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic.

Note: Always seek medical care if there is persistent bleeding, severe pain, or an apparent deformity of the bone that is below the injured area.

If the skin infection develops suddenly, forms an abscess, has drainage of pus, is extraordinarily tender, or is associated with fever, the cause could be methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This requires an examination by your doctor who may need to lance the abscess and/or place your child on antibiotics.

Skin Infections

Fortunately, your child’s immune system will usually stop infection from occurring if the injured area is kept clean and covered. Even though the skin is covered by countless bacteria, our immune system is generally able to keep it from causing infection. However, at times, some bacteria will gain a foothold in an area of injured skin and cause infection called cellulites.

“The Center That Feels Like a Home”


• Hand washing with antibacterial soap is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Treat your child’s wound with the same care and bathe him daily.

Shining Starz Preschool

2 months – 5 years Open year round 6:30am – 6:00 pm

“Where Little Starz Learn to Shine” Free VPK / Extended hours available

Home cooked meals

VPK curriculum from the University of North Florida

CCC/ELC accepted

Half / Full day programs

No registration / extra parent fees

Please stop by – No appointment necessary

2 – 5 years

Open year round, 6:30am – 6:00 pm

Free VPK / Extended hours available

Home cooked meals

Curriculum from the University of North Florida used center wide

CCC/ELC accepted

Half / Full day programs

4210 78th Ave. N. Pinellas Park, FL

Please stop by – No appointment necessary


1541 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL

License # C050891

No registration / extra parent fees

727-526-6931 License # C050899

22 • September 2012 • Pinellas

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Gulf Coast Family - August 2012 - Pinellas  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

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