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Paper cuts can kill

Life is full of hazardous things and every day we pass by many without even noticing. Bacteria and germs are everywhere and it is an undeniable fact that we cannot avoid contact with them. Because we do not always think of these things, we simply discard a small wound as something that has no impact on us, but what happens when things go bad?

“Wounds are much more serious than people think;even the smallest cut can get infected and can become a big problem.” Sr. Daleen Huyzers from Total wound care said. “I once had a patient that had a paper cut with money because she did not take it seriously she almost lost her finger”. Basically any wound can become a problem and in some cases even become fatal. Because we live in a world filled with bacteria and germs, we have to be extra careful. “Any wound can become infected, basically how it works is a wound firstly gets contaminated directly after or during accident – Small amount of bacterial influence then colonization where bacteria start to multiply, critically colonized where there are massive bacterial load and signs of infection, inflammation where bacteria moves into the tissue, Sepsis, necrosis where the tissue dies and finally gangrene ” Sr. Daleen said prominently, “most patients only seek help when it is almost too late, because they think that they can handle the wound on their own”.

According to Sr. Daleen there are a few things to look out for with wounds that can be signs of infection. If the wound has any of the following after 7 days the wound will properly be infected: redness, if the wound is hot, swollen, if there is still pain and when there are secretions. When you encounter any of these symptoms, please get professional help.  All of this can easily be avoided by disinfecting the wound as soon as possible.Even boiled hot water with salt in can be used as a disinfectant.

There are also a few myths about wounds that should not be trusted “Never leave a wound to dry out or be exposed, it will easily get infected and also if it is dried out, the cells die, which means that you are effectively creating biltong.The key is balance, a wound should not be too wet, or too dry”Sr. Daleen made clear. “try to avoid products that will dry out skin or wounds such mercurochrome, it is an old believed remedy, but it is not really modern. A product such as this is not advised to use on all wounds. Rather use medically researched and proven medication, ask your pharmacist or medical specialist to assist you in choosing the right ones”.

The skin is the biggest organ of the human body, we have to protect it and make sure that no harm comes to it, because we have to live with it for the rest of our lives. So it’s time to get out the Dettol and plasters, even if it is only a scratch, rather safe than sorry.

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