Your hands are the most versatile tools you can imagine. They tie, type, zip, poke, grip, grab and hold onto everything within an arm’s reach. They handle nearly everything you interact with during the average day—including the more dangerous things. With your fingers being in everything from sand to water to laundry to cooking, cuts are bound to happen. What happens when you get one, though? What should you do when you get a more serious cut on your finger? Each Urgency Room through the Twin Cities is here to help you when you seriously wound your finger as well as when you experience a minor cut.
You Cut Your Finger, Now What?
Cutting your fingers can be a serious event and should be addressed immediately so to avoid developing an infection. Whether your finger has a small cut to a bigger gash, your first priority is to assess the wound and its severity. Is it a clean cut or a jagged tear? How deep is the cut? See exactly where the source of bleeding is stemming from and proceed from there. Remember, though, no matter how bad the cut, remain calm. A calm mind will be able to prioritize what needs to happen and focus on helping your cut.
Stop the BleedingThe very first step to treating a cut finger is to stop the bleeding. One way to stop bleeding from a small, simple cut is to run it under cold water. This will help contract the blood vessels to slow bleeding. Another easy way to stop bleeding from any sort of wound is to apply firm and steady pressure to the cut. Make sure you use a clean cloth or piece of gauze—don’t grab the nearest dirty towel and apply it to your wound.
If your cut is particularly serious or bleeding heavily and the cloth you apply starts to become saturated with blood, don’t remove it—you risk removing whatever clot had started to form over the cut. Instead, place more clean cloth or gauze over the existing cloth or gauze. Consider wrapping it with more gauze or bandages until the bleeding subsides.
If you cut your finger in a way that a flap of skin is extending over the wound, don’t take it off. As tempting as it may be, removing that flap of skin may prolong your healing process. If you accidentally cut a portion of your finger off, make sure to place the severed portion in a clean plastic bag to bring with you to the doctor. If you can, pack the plastic bag in ice.
Clean Your CutWhile you may be tempted to, don’t use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or Mercurochrome. You may have seen your grandmother dump this stuff on even minor cuts in the past, but the truth is that hydrogen peroxide and iodine can cause tissue damage while Mercurochrome has high levels of mercury—all should be avoided.
Once the bleeding has subsided, remove the gauze or bandages and simply wash with water. If you wash with water and soap, ensure the soap is relatively mild and that you wash it out of the wound completely so to prevent irritation to your cut.
Bandage the CutOnce the cut on your finger has stopped bleeding, been cleaned and dried, it’s time to dress the wound. To reduce the risk of infection and help numb any pain or swelling that you may be starting to feel, apply a small amount of an antibacterial cream. After that’s applied, cover your wound with a sterile bandage. Make sure to clean the wound and replace the bandage daily. Keep a close watch on your cut to make sure it’s healing properly. Depending on your age, your health and the severity of the cut, it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to fully heal.
Do I Need to See a Physician for my Finger Cut?
While the majority of minor cuts to your fingers can be cared for in your home, there are times when a cut should be seen by a physician. If a cut is especially large, deep, or resulted in part of your finger missing, you may need to seek medical attention. If you are not sure whether you need further care, and your symptoms are minor, you can get seen by a physician from the comfort of your home with our telehealth service.
- The cut won’t stop bleeding
- Part of your finger has been cut off
- The area around the cut feels numb
- The area around the cut is swollen
- You can see the bone
- The edges of the cut are jagged or torn
- You notice infection or discharge developing in the days after cutting your finger
If you need to see a physician for a cut on your finger, come to your nearest Urgency Room. You can schedule an appointment through our online system with same day appointments available. With convenient locations situated off of major highways running through the Twin Cities, coming to our Woodbury, Vadnais Heights or Eagan locations is an easy trip. Unlike the emergency room, with our scheduled care you will be able to get in to see a physician right away.
Each Urgency Room is owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) and is staffed with highly qualified and experienced physicians, nurses and medical technicians. Check out our comprehensive medical services offered when you need it most. Each location is open 365 days per year, including holidays, from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. whether you cut your finger while cutting sandwiches for the kids’ lunches or carving the Thanksgiving turkey, The Urgency Room will be here when you need us for even your worst cuts on your fingers.