Any bump on the head not only causes a lot of pain, but it can be frightening especially if it involves bleeding. It is important that you know how to treat a scalp cut properly once a family member or friend sustains the injury. By enrolling in a first aid course, you will learn how to provide care to a scalp and to determine if stitches are required.
Observe the 10 minute rule
Once a particular cut in the scalp appears minor and the bleeding is slight, there is no cause for alarm. Nevertheless, always bear in mind that the scalp has a lot of blood vessels that are close to the skin, thus bleeding is usually heavier than in other places in the body. This is why it is still best to have any injury to the scalp checked by a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out.
As a first aid measure, you have to rinse the wound off to make sure that there is no debris or dirt in the cut if possible and at the same time check for bleeding. In case the blood continues to flow, you have to apply pressure using a clean cloth or towel and wait for the blood flow to stop. If the wound still bleeds after 10 minutes of applying pressure, it is best to seek emergency care so that the medical team can deliver advanced modes of treatment. This scalp cut would require stitches in order to stop the bleeding.
Appearance of the scalp
By simply checking the appearance of the scalp, you can determine the severity of the cut. If it is a gaping wound in which the edges do not fit back together easily using a Band-Aid, it would require stitches that is performed by a healthcare professional. Once the cut is deep and the interior tissues are present, it would also require immediate stitches.
In case the skin has been torn away during the injury, the edges of the cut will not appear straight. A wound that has jagged edges and separated by a certain distance would also require stitches. As for cuts that were created by a sharp knife, they are usually in a straight line, thus they can heal on their own without requiring any stitches.
Appropriate treatment for scalp
Take note that deep cuts in the scalp are at high risk for infection and can lead to apparent scarring if not given the right and appropriate treatment. A deep wound to the scalp requires suturing or stitches within the span of eight hours if probable and not more than 24 hours after the wound was sustained. Understandably, if the wound is not stitched before 24 hours, the wound might not hold properly, thus increasing the risk for infection to occur.