Self-Help for Minor Injuries

If you are injured, please come to Health Services promptly for treatment. If you are injured on the weekend or in the evening, please see our listing of Wellness Resources.



Wash minor cuts with soap and water. After the bleeding stops, apply a dry sterile dressing, such as a band-aid. Antibiotic creams can be used if desired.

If the bleeding does not stop, apply direct pressure with a sterile gauze to the wound for a full five minutes (do not peek to see if the bleeding has stopped!). If bleeding continues, apply direct pressure and seek medical care.

Clean the wound and apply a new dressing daily. Keep the wound clean and dry and change the dressing if wet or soiled.

Seek assistance at Health Services or Medical Care if :

  • the edges of the wound do not come together,
  • the wound is deep,
  • there is debris in the wound,
  • the bleeding does not stop within five minutes, or
  • the wound becomes infected. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, heat, or white, yellow, or green drainage.


sunburned girl
  • Cool the burn with cold water.
  • DO NOT apply ointments, oils, or sprays to a serious burn.
  • If clothing is stuck to the burn, DO NOT remove it.
  • Cover with a sterile dressing like a band-aid.
  • Burns to the hands, feet, or face are considered serious and require medical attention.
  • Sunburns can also be cooled with cool water or compresses. Severe sunburns may require medical care.

Sprains & Strains

scissors and gauze

For minor sprains or strains – use R.I.C.E.

  • Rest - Rest the Injured part of the body.
  • Ice - Apply ice packs to the injury for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first 24 hours.
  • Compression - Wear an elastic bandage or splint wrapped firmly (but not too tightly) to minimize swelling.
  • Elevation - Raise the injured part above your heart to prevent swelling.