Injuries to fingers and toes are common and can include anything from minor abrasions and cuts to more serious injuries that damage bones, ligaments, and tendons. Sometimes medical attention is required, but most toe and hand injuries can be treated at home. Applying the right bandage to the injured toe or hand can help prevent infection, speed healing, and provide stability to the injured area.
Part 1 of 3: Assessing Injuries
Step 1. Determine the severity of the injury
Seek medical help if the injury includes a protruding bone, a deep cut or tear, numbness, or if the skin is peeling a lot. In the worst case, a portion of the skin or even a toe or hand may have been partially or completely cut off. If so, place the cut off on ice and take it to an emergency care facility.
Step 2. Stop the bleeding
Apply pressure to the injured area with a sterile bandage or clean cloth until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding does not stop after applying constant pressure for 5-10 minutes, seek medical attention.
If available, use a Telfa bandage, which doesn't leave lint on the wound or prevent clotting, and is best
Step 3. Clean the injured area thoroughly
Use clean water, a sterile bandage, or a clean cloth. Wash your hands before starting if you can. Remove any dirt or dust that may be on the wound. Touching a fresh wound can be very painful, but cleaning it thoroughly and carefully is important to prevent infection.
Clean the area around the wound using a sterile bandage moistened with saline or clean water. Wipe away in all directions, not closer or into the wound
Step 4. Determine if the injury can be treated and bandaged at home
Once the bleeding has stopped and the wound area has been cleaned, it's easier to see damage that wasn't obvious at first, such as visible bone or bone fragments. Most injuries to the fingers and toes can be treated at home using proper cleaning, bandaging and monitoring the injured area.
Step 5. Apply butterfly band-aid (butterfly band-aid)
For deep cuts and cuts, stitches may be needed. Apply a butterfly patch, if available, to pull the skin apart until you can go to a medical facility. Use some butterfly patch for larger areas of the wound. This will help prevent infection, control bleeding, and help the doctor assess the area for suturing.
If a butterfly patch is not available, use a regular bandage and pull the skin as tightly as possible. Avoid applying the adhesive part of the wound band directly to the wound
Step 6. Determine if any bones are broken
Symptoms of a fracture include pain, swelling, stiffness, bruising, deformity, and difficulty moving the fingers or toes. Feeling pain when applying pressure to the injured area or when trying to walk could mean a fracture in the bone.
Step 7. Treat broken bones or sprains at home
Often fractures and sprains can be treated at home. However, if there is a change in shape, coldness, paleness, or no pulse at the area of the injury, this indicates that the broken bones have separated from each other. Immediate medical attention is required to adjust the separated bone fragments.
Step 8. Treat the broken big toe
Fractures involving the big toe are more difficult to treat at home. Bone fragments can be dislodged, damage to ligaments or tendons can occur during an injury, and the risk of infection and arthritis may be greater if the injured area is not healed properly. Consider seeking medical attention if your big toe is visibly broken.
Attaching the injured big toe to the other toe using a loop or two of medical tape will help support the broken big toe while you go to the hospital
Step 9. Apply ice to prevent swelling and reduce bruising and pain
Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Ice can be put in plastic, then wrapped in a small towel or other material. Some toe and hand injuries do not involve cuts, abrasions, bleeding, or areas of broken skin. Fingers or toes may be dislocated, or one of the bones may be broken, but the skin remains intact.
Ice for 10 minutes at a time
Part 2 of 3: Applying the Bandage
Step 1. Choose a bandage that fits the injury
For minor cuts and abrasions, the purpose of the bandage is to prevent infection and promote healing. For more serious injuries, a bandage can help prevent infection and provide protection for the injury as it heals.
Step 2. Use a regular dressing to prevent infection
Toe or hand injuries can include cuts to the skin, nails, nail bed, sprained ligaments and tendons, or broken bones. For injuries that only require protection from infection, a simple dressing and a regular wound dressing will work well.
Step 3. Wrap the wound with sterile material
If the skin is damaged, dressing the wound area properly will prevent infection and control further bleeding. Use a sterile cotton swab, sterile gauze (Telfa is best), or a very clean material to cover the entire wound. Try not to touch the sterile part of the dressing that will be in direct contact with the wound.
Step 4. Use an antibiotic cream as part of the dressing
The risk of infection is greater with injuries that involve cuts, abrasions, or tears in areas of the skin. Applying an antibiotic ointment or cream to the dressing is a good way to help prevent infection without touching the wound directly.
Step 5. Secure the bandage with a bandage
The bandage should not be too tight, but sufficiently secure to secure the bandage in place. Bandages that are too tight can affect blood flow.
Step 6. Avoid unraveling the ends of the bandage
Be sure to cut or tighten the ends of the loose dressing, bandage, or tape. This can cause pain, and possibly further damage, if the untied end is caught or caught in something.
Step 7. Leave the tips of your fingers or toes open
Unless the fingertip is part of the injury, leaving it exposed will help monitor changes that could indicate circulation problems. Moreover, if medical attention is needed, leaving the tips of the fingers and toes exposed helps the doctor evaluate nerve damage.
Step 8. Adjust the bandage to cover the fingertips well if the fingertips are injured
Fingers and toes can be challenging when it comes to bandaging. Gather material that is larger than the area of the injury, so you can cut the bulky gauze, sterile dressing, and medical tape into a size that fits the wound area.
Step 9. Cut the bandage into a “T”, “X”, or “woven” shape
Cutting material like this helps to safely cover the tips of the injured toes or hands. The cut should be designed to be twice the length of the finger or toe. Apply the bandage along the finger or toe first, then the other way. Wrap the other end around the injured area.
Step 10. Be careful not to bandage the wound too tightly
Use additional tape as needed to secure the bandage in place. Also pay attention to covering all damaged areas of skin with a dressing material before applying the final bandage, to prevent infection.
Step 11. Provide support for fractures or sprains
The bandage you put on may need to provide protection, prevent infection, speed healing, act as a splint, and prevent further damage to the injured area.
Step 12. Use a splint for fractures or sprains
Splints help immobilize existing injuries and prevent further accidental injury. Choose a splint that is the right size for the injured finger. In some cases, a regular popsicle stick can be used as a splint.
Try to immobilize the joint above and below the injury site using a splint. If the injury is in the first joint of the finger, this means trying to immobilize the wrist and the joint above the injury. This will keep the tendons and surrounding muscles from straining the existing injury or accompanying the injury
Step 13. Place a folded gauze or bandage over the injured area for cushioning
Carefully folded dressing material can be used between the injured finger and the splint to provide cushioning and prevent irritation.
Step 14. Fasten the splint in place
Using medical tape or tape, be careful not to bandage the injured area too tightly. First, apply medical tape or tape lengthwise, with your finger on one side and a splint on the other, then wrap a bandage around the injured finger and the splint to secure it. Be careful not to bandage the injured area too tightly, but tight enough so that the splint doesn't come off.
Step 15. Bandage the injured area using another finger as a splint
An adjacent toe or hand can act as a splint in most cases. Using the other finger as a splint helps prevent the injured finger from moving freely to allow the injured area to heal properly.
Often, the first and second or third and fourth fingers are paired or bandaged together. Always add a small amount of gauze between your fingers to prevent irritation
Step 16. Begin by placing a bandage above and below the injury
Cut or tear two pieces of non-stretch white medical tape. Wrap each section around the area above and below the injured joint or broken bone, including the finger for the splint in the bandage. Be careful to wrap tightly but not too tightly.
Step 17. Apply additional plaster
Once the fingers are attached to each other, proceed to wrapping additional sections of tape around the two fingers to secure them. This method allows the fingers to bend together, but side-to-side movement is limited.
Part 3 of 3: Knowing When to Seek Medical Help
Step 1. Beware of blood under the nails
In some cases, blood can collect under the fingernail of the injured toe or hand and can cause unwanted additional pressure and possibly further damage to the injury. Medical procedures may be performed to relieve the pressure.
Step 2. Update your tetanus booster
Even minor abrasions or cuts may require a tetanus booster shot to prevent serious infection. Adults should get a tetanus booster every 5 to 10 years.
Step 3. Watch out for new symptoms
Fever, chills, sudden tingling or numbness, or a sudden increase in pain requires that you seek medical help early instead of delaying it.
Step 4. Let time heal the wound
It usually takes about 8 weeks for a broken bone to heal. Joint injuries and sprains can heal faster. If the problem persists, see a doctor. If symptoms worsen, such as pain and swelling beyond the first 2 to 3 days, medical attention may be required.
- Continue to apply ice regularly to help with pain, swelling, and bruising. At first, applying ice for 10-20 minutes every hour can help reduce pain, swelling, and bruising.
- Keep the wound clean. Change the dressing more often at first, as the wound tends to ooze and can lead to infection.
- Keep the bandage tight but not too tight.
- Keep the injured area in an elevated position.
- Take a rest.