Not only is glass one of the easiest household items to break, broken glass is one of the easiest messes to accidentally injure yourself with. Luckily, cuts in the skin from broken glass don't require much special attention when compared with other household cut injuries, and minor wounds can usually be safely tended in the comfort of your own home. But as with all injuries, it's important to take steps for prevention of infection and discomfort, as well as making sure the wound you have isn't serious enough to require the help of a medical professional.
Things You'll Need
- Hand soap
- Disinfectant, such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- Sterile cotton balls or swabs
- Adhesive bandages
- Antibiotic ointment
Assess the cut to make sure it's minor enough to be handled in the home. According to the American Academy of Physicians, you should contact a doctor if any of the following occur or are present: jagged edges to the wound, a facial wound, a lack of clotting, punctures or deep cuts without a current tetanus shot (within the past 5 years), fever, gray discharge, discomfort in movement or numbness as a result of the wound, dirt or other foreign materials you can't get out of the wound, inflammation, or if the edges of the wound gape and can't be closed when bandaged.
Determine whether there are any fragments of glass still stuck in the wound. If so, try to extract them with tweezers. Do not persist if this proves to be difficult. Instead, contact your doctor.
Wash the wound with running water. Either hold the affected area under a faucet or pour water over it using a cup. Use cool water.
Use soap and a washcloth to wash the skin around the wounded area. Try not to get soap in the cut itself, as this can cause irritation. For the sake of comfort, avoid rubbing the area directly with bar soap. Instead, use liquid soap or rub the soap bar on the wet washcloth before applying it to the skin.
Disinfect the wound. Soak a cotton ball or swab (depending on the size of the wound) in peroxide or rubbing alcohol and apply it gently to the cut. If using alcohol, make sure the wounded person is aware that this process will sting.
Apply an adhesive bandage if the wound is in a place where it's likely to get dirty or be rubbed by clothing. Otherwise, leave the wound uncovered if it is comfortable to do so, as this will help it stay clean and dry. Change adhesive bandages daily.
Use antibiotic ointment on the wound on a daily basis. This will help it heal faster and reduce scarring.