Learning proper wound care is an essential skill for every adult. After all, everyone experiences a scrape or two at some point in their life. Knowing how to properly care for a wound and keep it from getting infected can save you a possible painful trip to the emergency room. Proper wound care will also speed up your recovery time and reduce your risk for visible scarring. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and frailer, leaving us more susceptible to scrapes, scratches, and cuts. Below is our list of top wound care products to have on hand for seniors, just in case.
Any time you experience an injury that breaks the skin, it’s important you clean the wound as soon as possible. This will prevent any unwanted germs or bacteria from entering the wound and causing infection. The wound should be properly rinsed with clean, cool water to wash away any dirt or debris. Next, cleanse the wound with unscented soap and water. A little soap and water should clean most wounds and lesions, but it’s also a good idea to apply a disinfectant.
- Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild antiseptic used to treat minor scrapes and burns. It helps to remove dead skin and clean the area around the wound. It can be found in most drugstores and grocery stores.
- Isopropyl Alcohol, often confused with rubbing alcohol, is an antiseptic that can be used to kill germs and bacteria at the wound site. Like Hydrogen Peroxide, Isopropyl Alcohol can be found in most drugstores and grocery stores.
- Natural Diabetic First Aid Gel is both an antiseptic and analgesic (pain reliever) in one. Although specifically made for diabetic skin, this all-in-one first aid gel will work for anyone with a minor wound.
Antibiotic Creams and Ointments
An antibiotic cream or ointment should be applied to the wound after it’s been cleaned. This will keep the wound moist and keep out any possible germs and bacteria. Antibiotic creams and ointments will also help to speed up the healing process. They can be reapplied whenever you change bandages. Two of the most popular topical antibiotic ointments are Neosporin and Bacitracin. Both ointments prevent bacterial growth, but Neosporin also kills any existing bacteria. Neosporin contains several different kinds of antibiotics while Bacitracin contains just one. Neosporin can also fight against a wider range of bacteria than Bacitracin can. However, for those who are sensitive to medications, Neosporin is more likely to cause allergic reactions than Bacitracin. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction like skin rash, hives, or trouble breathing, stop use and seek out medical attention.
Other Topical Wound Care Products
- SkinSmart Antimicrobial spray kills bacteria safely by spraying directly on wounds. Great for minor cuts, abrasions, piercings, and more.
- First Honey Sterile Manuka Honey Ointment acts as a natural antibacterial and wound protective ointment. It’s an all-natural alternative to stronger antibiotic creams and ointments.
- Curad Germ Shield Antimicrobial Silver Wound Gel contains microscopic silver antimicrobials that effectively kills bacteria, yeast, and fungus.
Oral Wound Care Products
Healing starts from within, even when it comes to cuts and scrapes. Your body needs proper nutrients to repair skin tissue and fight off infection. Oral supplements can provide your body with the important vitamins and minerals it needs to heal faster. Dietary supplements specifically formulated to help heal wounds can be taken daily to prevent and treat minor wounds.
- WoundVite is an all-natural supplement made from 21 different pharmaceutical grade vitamins, minerals, and herb supplements. Each ingredient is scientifically backed to boost skin cell repair, prevent infection, and reduce inflammation associated with wounds. Co-formulated by veteran pharmacist, Devan Patel and leading experts and physicians, WoundVite acts as an all-in-one daily capsule supplement for wound care.
- Juven is a nutritional drink mix powder formulated to support skin cell repair and boost immunity. Its main ingredient is collagen protein, the main building block of skin tissue. Increased collagen protein boosts skin cell repair and strengthens skin tissues. Juven also contains essential vitamins, including Zinc, which helps boost
- immunity and prevent infection.
- Abintra is a wound healing nutritional powder supplement clinically proven to promote wound healing using all natural vitamins and minerals. Abintra contains essential vitamins and minerals including L-arginine, glucosamine, and various antioxidants that promote wound repair.
Bandages act as sterile protective coverings for wounds to keep out bacteria and debris. They prevent your wound from rubbing up against clothing or anything else it may come into contact with, preventing irritation. They also encourage the formation of scabs and healing. It’s good to have bandages of all sizes on hand to protect wounds of different sizes. Some bandages even contain antibacterial ointment and offer waterproof protection.
Gauze is typically only needed for deeper wounds and lacerations that have heavier bleeding. Gauze is sterile fabric that can be wrapped around the affected area to protect the wound from outside debris and bacteria. It also helps to soak up excess blood and promote blood clotting at the wound site. Gauze can be found in most drugstores, grocery stores, and first aid kits.
Older adults are more susceptible to minor wounds that result after bumps, scrapes, or because of medical conditions such as diabetes. While more serious injuries and wounds should be brought to the attention of your doctor or other health care professional, many minor wounds can be treated at home. It’s important to have a variety of wound care supplies on hand should you hurt yourself and want to prevent further damage. Topical treatments as well as oral supplements can be combined to promote faster healing and prevent infection. Next time you acquire a minor cut or scrape, don’t forget to take the necessary steps to ensure the best outcome.