How to Treat a Paper Cut

Three Parts:Cleaning the Paper CutBandaging the Paper CutHealing the Paper Cut Using Home Remedies

Since paper was invented, we’ve dealt with the small but painful effect of paper cuts. Because they often happen on the tips of our fingers, they seem more painful than other abrasions. But there are things you can do so that soon, you’ll forget it ever happened.

Part 1
Cleaning the Paper Cut

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    Rinse the cut with cool, clean water to remove any dirt or debris. [1]Cool water can help take the sting out of the cut.
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    Scrub gently with water and mild soap. Be gentle with your wound. Scrubbing too hard can open up the paper cut further.
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    Rinse your wound under cool, clean water until all the soap has been rinsed away.
    • In the absence of cool, running tap water, utilize a bulb syringe or poke a hole in a plastic bottle and squeeze.
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    Avoid hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or iodine. The properties that kill bacteria can also damage healthy cell tissue. While they rarely cause serious harm, they could slow your rate of healing.[2]
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    Stop the bleeding if necessary. If the cut is bleeding a lot or it doesn't stop quickly, stop it by applying gentle pressure with a clean washcloth or bandage.[3]
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    Let your paper cut heal on its own. Keep it clean. The air will help dry it out and within a day you’ll hardly remember it happened.

Part 2
Bandaging the Paper Cut

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    Keep in mind it’s just a papercut, a mere flesh wound. It will easily heal on its own. However, sometimes bandages lessen the pain and make it easier for you to go about your day.
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    Apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream or ointment to help keep the surface area moist. While they do not help the wound heal faster, they discourage infection and encourage the body’s healing process.[4]
    • Some ingredients in antibiotic cream or ointments can cause an adverse, mild rash. If you see any sign of a rash, discontinue the use of the ointment.
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    Bandage the papercut. Use a clean bandage, especially if it is in an area that gets dirty easily, like your fingers or hand. This will limit the amount of bacteria you come into contact with. This will also protect you from knocking the wound open.[5]
    • Put your adhesive strip on snug, but not so tight you will restrict blood flow to your wound. You want your blood to have access to the wound to better heal you!
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    Change your bandage: Change your bandage if the bandage becomes wet or dirty. You want to keep the area as clean as possible to encourage healing.
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    Use liquid adhesive if you are unable to keep your bandage dry. Some products offer a topical anesthetic that helps to alleviate some of the pain. Check the pharmacy for those made specifically for minor skin wounds.
    • Super glue products can sting, but also cover the wound and dry to hold the edges of the skin together. These products are not intended to be used directly on skin, so they will sting and cause some burning if you choose to utilize this method.
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    Remove the bandage once the cut begins to heal. For most paper cuts, healing only takes a few days. Leaving the bandage on too long can prevent the cut from getting the oxygen it needs to heal properly.

Part 3
Healing the Paper Cut Using Home Remedies

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    Rub raw honey onto the cut. It’s important that the honey is raw; if it’s cooked, all the antibacterial enzymes are removed from it.
    • Home remedies are not substitutes for medical attention if you need it. The things in this section are simply things to try that may, according to some sources, help your cut to feel better faster. You still need to wash the cut properly, use precautions for preventing infection (cover the wound while it’s unhealed), and seek medical attention if it becomes infected.
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    Squeeze a little fresh aloe vera gel onto the paper cut. You can also use commercially purchased gel. Aloe vera is known for speeding up the healing process.
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    Try mint on the cut. Warm a mint teabag in boiling water, then lay the teabag across the paper cut. Or, stick your whole finger in cooled mint tea if the cut is on your finger. Mint has a soothing effect on inflamed tissue.[6]
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    Make a garlic rub. Blend 3 cloves of garlic with one cup of wine, let stand for 2-3 hours and then strain. Apply to the cut with a clean cloth 1-2 times a day.
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    Use calendula salve, lavender oil, goldenseal ointment, or tea tree oil on your cut. All of these can be found in most health stores, and are known to help wounds to heal faster. Apply them directly to the cut or to your bandage 2-4 times a day.


  • See your doctor if the cut seems very deep, does not stop bleeding by 30 minutes, or bleeds excessively. Also see your doctor if you have signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, or drainage of pus from the area.
  • To avoid getting future paper cuts, try not to slide your fingers across the edges of paper. This can be difficult in certain work or while completing certain projects, but taking your time and using precautions can help to avoid them.[7]

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