Next time you cut yourself gardening….


now it turns out that many researchers and dermatologists have known
better for quite some time. Today’s best medical advice: skip the
antibiotic cream, cover the wound to protect it from the air and, yes,
chip away at the scab once it has stopped the bleeding.  Exposing
the wound to air slows healing because it creates a dry environment
that promotes cell death. Far better to keep the wound moist and
covered so that blood vessels regenerate faster and inflammation is
minimal. Vaseline will do just fine as a moistening agent. Skip the
antibiotic ointments lest they cause swelling and an allergic reaction
on the skin. And don’t leave the scab on too long, lest it leave a
larger scar than you would want.

best medical advice"?  Did I miss something?  Do you young parents
out there know about this?  Well, I say if this turns out to be true
I’m happy to cover my cuts – then I can keep on getting dirty.  But
giving up my Neosporin would make me a nervous, I’m afraid, and they
can just forget about us all starting to "chip away" at our scabs.

Sorry there’s no link – it’s behind the Times Select wall and it costs 50 bucks a year to pass through.  I wonder what happens to those who subscribe and then quote.


  1. I’m no nurse but I think that’s a load of hooey. I’ve had many a minor scrape that turned into a painful infected mess very quickly because I thought, “Oh, it’s minor. It will be fine.” and didn’t treat it. Plus it reducing scarring (I know this from experience as well).

  2. I just love it when the “experts” reverse advice we’ve all hardwired into our brains.

    Remember the “clean household” thing? Well, it turns out now that that is implicated in the rising rate of asthma among children. Kids need exposure to dirt to stay healthy, apparently.

    As for the cuts advice, my boyfriend recently injured himself putting together some furniture — took a chunk out of his finger that was at least 1/4″ deep, looked awful and bled like crazy. We wound up going to the emergency room for it.

    There wasn’t enough flesh left to stitch. They had him bandaid/ointment it during the day and leave it open at night. It healed in a week — amazingly fast.

    He also, however, got a tetanus shot. Did the article mention that, I wonder?

  3. This is goes against both common sense and personal experience.

    I think people confuse the idea of clean versus antiseptic. I think we’re still supposed to clean our homes, just not wipe it down with lysol and fill it full of antibacterial soap.

  4. Heck yeah Susan, isn’t getting banged up a little part and parcel to gardening? Don’t we all love to show off our war wounds from the weedy battlefields? All kidding aside, there is a lot good advice in your posting. I had surgery to excise skin cancer on my nose and the post surgical advice was keep the incision moist, principally using Neosporin, and light bandaging to prevent excessive scarring. It worked! Yes, there is a faint line to remind me to always use sun block (+30) and a hat but most people when first meeting me don’t notice it.

    This is my first comment to Garden Rant, and I have to say that you, Amy, and Michele go beyond rocking it. Thank you all for bringing such energy, feistiness, wit, and wheelbarrows of humor to everyone’s passion. And for you blog cruisers who don’t get that gardening MATTERS, please move on.

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