Let’s take a moment to discuss the inevitable: wounds and burns. On a regular day, we are already susceptible to the run-of-the-mill scratch (and then some), but working with knives and heat tends to turn the odds against one’s favor. In fact, getting injured was an integral part of my “Cons” list while I was deciding whether to go for a life of cookery or not. (Obviously, cookery won.)
Besides, the fear of getting hurt causes way more panic than when you actually do end up getting injured. Whenever I accidentally cut myself with my knife, the sharp blade does a quick enough job that the wound doesn’t even sting immediately. You basically see the bleeding first before you even feel the smarting. The same goes for burns: When it does start to hurt, the first impulse has always been to press the affected area to the nearest chunk of ice rather than to exclaim about my agony. –Or is it because I just happen to be a woman with a high tolerance for pain?
However you decide to react to an injury, the most pressing concern is still the treatment that must be administered. A tetanus shot is such a big deal that it’s good to keep it up-to-date for the sake of convenience. Anyone will tell you that it’s a pain in the ass to be bleeding already, and then be told that you have to rush to the hospital to get that shot.
Now once the bleeding part is over, the next mode of action would be to apply some medicine to the problem area:
Clockwise from Top-Left: Band-Aid Antiseptic Wash, Betadine, Rhea Hydrogen Peroxide, 3M Nexcare Steri-Strip, Polysporin Ointment
The doctor from a hotel clinic I went to instructed me to keep the wound as dry as humanly possible. That meant covering the area with plastic or donning gloves when in the shower, to prevent unnecessary moisture. This is followed by Hydrogen Peroxide that helps dissolve crusted/clotted blood (i.e. the scab), thus preventing it from accumulating and getting infected. Admittedly, this is the part that sucks the most as getting the crusted blood out may require the repeated swipes of a hydrogen peroxide-soaked cotton ball, which proves to cause a stinging sensation.
Personally, I like to use Johnson&Johnson’s Band-Aid Hurt-Free Antiseptic Wash that can be splashed on a cotton ball and essentially disinfects as well. The difference is that this does not dissolve crusted blood like peroxide does, so perhaps this is best for smaller injuries. Oh well, you may just have to white-knuckle it with the peroxide.
Betadine comes next, followed by a healthy amount of antibiotic ointment. My brand of choice is Polysporin, which has proven its worth time and time again. It works fast on anything from an infected pimple to an inflamed ingrown nail. I have the tube with the maroon label meaning it contains a formulation of 3 types of antibiotics. Too bad that it is not available here in Manila, so this is definitely a request I have to make from relatives who travel.
Lastly, big or deep cuts may be “taped” with 3M Nexcare Steri-Strips, the last resort before stitches may be required.
This process should be repeated 3x a day until the wound heals completely. It’s definitely a time-consuming hassle, so you’re sure to be more careful the next time.
Post-healing, a tube of Contractubex becomes your new best friend. Pricey but effective, scars do lighten a bit and become flatter with religious application. Though I have yet to see a scar from a cut eradicated 100% completely from my usage. If you are on a budget, Sebo de Macho is the next best thing. My mom swears by it for lightening scars.
Sometimes, the unsightly and painful occupational hazards almost make one want to re-think some choices. Well, almost.
*Images from the ff. official websites: MIMS, Band-Aid, Drugstore.com, Philusa Corp., and Polysporin.