First Aid Basics: Wound Care
'Always be prepared.' I grew up with the Scout motto, thanks to my dad. And from this deeply instilled idea, I've developed several formulations that fit right into a well-stocked First Aid kit.
When it comes to cuts, scrapes and gashes, proper wound care is crucial to help prevent infection and ensure our skin heals well. For minor wounds that don't require further medical attention, I've shared First Aid medical guidelines infused with my approach to wound care using Indigo Elixirs.
1. Stop the bleeding
With washed hands, apply gentle pressure with a tissue, gauze, or clean cloth until the bleeding ceases. Add more material on top if the blood soaks through. If the abrasion is on an arm or leg, elevating the limb above the heart can help to slow bleeding. For minor wounds, bleeding should stop within 10 minutes.
2. Clean the wound
Wash area with soap (ideally castile or another chemical-free alternative) and wash the wound with water; avoid getting soap in the wound. Make sure to remove any debris from the area with tweezers cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Iodine and hydrogen peroxide are not recommended for wound care, as they can further damage the tissue.
3. Apply S.O.S. Spray
Shake and spray a spritz or two of S.O.S Herbal Antiseptic onto the open wound and allow to dry. This formula uses a base of vinegar, which has been found to speed healing and help prevent infection. Local turmeric hydrosol (distilled in our apothecary) and an infusion of fresh herbs like Aloe and Plantain all lend their skin-repairing benefits.
4. Use Sangre de Drago
Apply a very thin layer of Sangre de Drago Liquid Bandage to shallow scrapes and a thicker layer to deeper cuts and allow to dry in place. Also known as Dragon's Blood, this miraculous Amazonian tree resin helps to staunch bleeding, provides antimicrobial protection, and almost instantly creates a scab over the wound. While it may appear darker than normal, the resin 'bandage' functions perfectly as a scab and does not need to be covered once formed.
5. Slather on Solve All Salve
Once the Sangre de Drago has effectively formed a scab, wait for the scab to dry out a bit (usually a day or two) and then apply a thin layer of Solve All Salve. Reapply 2 to 3 times per day until the scab disappears. This versatile herbal balm helps lubricate the scab to improve healing and prevent scarring with potent first aid botanicals like Comfrey, Turmeric and Sage.
Help Your Body Heal
Whenever an immune response is triggered, our system becomes extra sensitive to new threats. Even just a small abrasion can cause heightened inflammation as a reaction to new stressors for an extra form of defense. This means that when you're nursing even a minor wound, be extra kind to your body. Make sure you're sleeping well, eating right, and taking good care to help yourself heal!
• Always wash hands with soap and water before touching open skin.
• Avoid swimming in water that potentially harbors pathogens while you have an open wound.
• Keep fresh wounds and new scabs covered if they might encounter debris or friction. Use clean gauze and tape or cool bandaids like these and change the dressing at least once daily and whenever it gets wet or dirty.
• Always pay close attention to any abrasion, no matter how small, to ensure that it does not get infected. If you notice redness, swelling, warmth, pus, or increasing pain around a wound, see a medical professional.