by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

We’re finally to the finale. This is the third video of my three-part series on how to treat a cut.

When you have no other recourse, almost any way to keep the edges of a cut together will suffice. Your body will do the rest. Duct taping a cut together requires the skin around the wound to be dry. Even a little oozing of blood may cause the tape to not stick. Other than that, taping a cut is easy.

To treat a cut, first follow the steps in my previous videos, parts one and two. Then:

  1. If you have glue, apply a little around the cut. Super glue is best.
  2. Tear off a a two-inch-long strip of duct tape.
  3. Tear that strip lengthwise into strips about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.
  4. Start at one end of the cut. Stick a strip of tape to one side of the cut.
  5. Approximate the wound edges together.
  6. Stick the strip to the other side.
  7. Repeat steps 4–6 until the cut is closed. The second strip should be next to the first and so on, leaving a small open space between each strip.
  8. Apply antibiotic ointment on the wound in the spaces between the duct tape strips.
  9. Cover with a dressing.
  10. Keep the area clean and dry.
  11. Repeat ointment and dressing daily. Sooner if the dressing gets dirty or wet.
  12. If the area around the wound gets red and warm or the cut starts oozing pus, start on antibiotics.
  13. If the cut continues to ooze blood, press on the dressing for 10 minutes. If the bleeding persists, apply a pressure dressing. (Post on how to make one of those coming soon. Sign up for email notification in the upper right corner.)
More Information

“Skin Lacerations: How to Treat a Cut, Scrape, Gash, Stab Wound”

Generally, cuts over joints take about two weeks to heal. Cuts on the face take about five. Other cuts take about ten.

Hope you enjoy the video.