Minor cuts can easily occur in everyday life. All sorts of things, such as knives, glass, paper and packaging have sharp edges that can cause wounds to the fingers, hands and feet. If you cut yourself, you should clean the wound quickly as any dirt or other debris in the wound could easily cause an infection.

Minor cuts

Cuts are the most common type of wound. Nowadays, many people use sharp kitchen knives made for professional chefs. A cut with one of these knives could cause serious injury, resulting in a deep wound. Make sure you handle knives with care. Cuts can cause severe bleeding. If you cut yourself and the wound is deep, or if it bleeds heavily, you should contact your medical center immediately. If a wound is larger than a centimeter or so, or if it is a gaping wound, it may need stitches. Contact a medical center to have the wound examined and treated.

Risk of infection from cuts

If you cut yourself, it is important to remember that the cuts can easily become infected. The knife or glass that you have cut yourself on could easily allow dirt to enter the wound. You will notice that the cut is infected if it becomes more painful after a day or so, and if the skin around the wound swells and goes red. In that case you can try to clean the wound extra carefully a couple of times a day. Wash with water and mild soap, preferably liquid soap. If you feel the infection is getting worse, or the symptoms are increasing, contact your medical center for an assessment.

Treatment in four steps

  • 1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • 2. Rinse the wound under running tap water, preferably with a shower handset.
  • 3. Use mild soap if dirt has entered the wound. Liquid soap is preferable. Check that no shards of glass or any other objects are still in the wound.
  • 4. Press the edges of the wound together and apply Sorbact® Secure.


You should not treat a wound that is bigger than a centimeter or so by yourself. Seek medical advice instead. On the other hand, it is advisable to clean the wound as soon as possible to prevent infection, even if healthcare professionals actually treat the wound.

Wash and wipe away any dirt

Start by washing your hands thoroughly before you treat the wound, as openings and cracks in the skin are always particularly susceptible to bacteria. You should then clean the wound thoroughly with water and mild soap. Remove any dirt. Use a clean cotton cloth/compress or rinse with water at body temperature. Dab the area dry before covering the wound again.

If an object has become stuck in the wound

If an object has penetrated the wound, such as a shard of glass or some other object, you should not try to remove it yourself. Objects with sharp edges can cause injury if they are removed incorrectly. Allow a healthcare professional to do this for you.

Seek medical advice if you suspect a wound is infected.

Always seek medical advice if you have any questions

  • If you have cut yourself, you could have damaged nerves or tendons. Check carefully to see if you can move the part of your body that has been injured. You can also check if the feeling underneath the wound is normal. If movement or feeling has been affected in any way, seek medical advice.

Webpage examined by Margareta Grauers, dermatology nurse, 29-06-2017

Recommended products

Sorbact® Secure

Protect and keep the wound clean

Showerproof plaster with a unique technology that reduces the risk of wound infection compared to a standard dressing1. Binds bacteria from the wound and facilitates wound healing.


1.Stanirowski PJ, Bizoń M, et al. 2016. Randomized controlled trial evaluating dialkylcarbamoyl chloride impregnated dressings for the prevention of surgical site infections in adult women undergoing cesarean section. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 17(4):427-435. link

Available in pharmacies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland