How do I Treat a Leg Wound? (with pictures)

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
Many minor leg injuries can be treated at home.
Many minor leg injuries can be treated at home.

The proper way to treat a leg wound will depend on many factors, including the type of wound and its severity. Minor wounds may only need to be cleaned and covered, while more serious ones will need stitches and sometimes even surgery to allow proper healing. All wounds will likely need to be disinfected with an antiseptic and wrapped to prevent any foreign matter from entering the site.

More serious wounds and insect bites might require stitches.
More serious wounds and insect bites might require stitches.

In most cases it is acceptable to treat a very minor wound at home. This would include minor cuts and scrapes, sprains, and bruises. Cuts or scrapes should be treated with an antiseptic to kill any bacteria that may be in the area, and then covered with a bandage to prevent dirt and other materials from entering. Sprains should be wrapped using a cloth bandage and as little weight as possible should be applied to the injured leg until the pain and swelling have subsided. Bruises generally require no treatment, but if they are slow to heal, a medical professional should be consulted.

A person wearing a cast.
A person wearing a cast.

A healthcare professional will need to treat a more severe leg wound in order to prevent further injury and allow proper healing. Fractures, or broken bones, are diagnosed using an X-ray machine and will need to be reset using a cast. Only a trained professional can place and remove a cast.

If your leg wound is a serious cut, puncture wound, or insect bite, you may require stitches in order to help the opening to heal properly. A cloth dressing will likely also be applied. Daily cleaning is generally necessary to prevent infection and a doctor or nurse will show you how to clean and redress your wound. An insect bite may require an antivenom for venomous bites along with a bandage if the area has become inflamed or has opened up.

Minor wounds should first be cleaned with soap and water.
Minor wounds should first be cleaned with soap and water.

In some cases, a wound can become infected. Signs of infection include redness, burning, heat, and pain at the site, and pus may also be present. When this occurs, the area will need to be cleaned thoroughly and antibiotics may be prescribed. This will help prevent the spread of infection to healthy tissue and to kill invading bacteria to heal the existing infection. These symptoms should be taken seriously, even in a minor injury, because spreading infection can sometimes result in amputation or permanent disablement.

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Discussion Comments

admin

Homemade poultices are in my opinion, the most effective way to treat a wound.

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    • Many minor leg injuries can be treated at home.
      Many minor leg injuries can be treated at home.
    • More serious wounds and insect bites might require stitches.
      More serious wounds and insect bites might require stitches.
    • A person wearing a cast.
      A person wearing a cast.
    • Minor wounds should first be cleaned with soap and water.
      Minor wounds should first be cleaned with soap and water.
    • Most minor cuts to the leg heal fine on their own as long as they are kept clean.
      Most minor cuts to the leg heal fine on their own as long as they are kept clean.
    • Broken leg bones can be diagnosed using an x-ray.
      Broken leg bones can be diagnosed using an x-ray.
    • If even a minor leg infection is allowed to spread, it could ultimately lead to a leg amputation.
      If even a minor leg infection is allowed to spread, it could ultimately lead to a leg amputation.