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Foreign Object in Eye or Skin, First Aid

A foreign object can become embedded in the skin or eye, and any movement of the object, including removing it, can cause increased bleeding, damage, or pain.All eye problems are serious because loss of sight or infection may occur, so any occurrence of a foreign object in the eye requires medical attention. Splinters (slivers) in the skin can often be safely removed without requiring medical assistance, and this information can be found in the Splinters text. Anything larger than a splinter embedded in the skin should be removed only by a medical professional. First aid measures listed below focus on protecting the skin or eye from further damage and should be conducted while awaiting medical assistance.First Aid GuideIn the case of a foreign object in the eye, the following first aid measures should be taken while awaiting medical care:Take special care to leave the object in its place. Do not put any pressure on the affected area. Thoroughly wash your hands. The size of the foreign object determines how the eye should be bandaged:If the object is small, cover both eyes with sterile dressings. If the object is large, tape a paper cup over the injured eye, and then cover the uninjured eye with a sterile dressing. In the case of a foreign object in the skin, the following first aid measures should be taken while awaiting medical care:Leave the object in place. Removing the object could cause severe bleeding. If necessary, carefully cut away any clothes from the affected area. Thoroughly wash your hands, and put on sterile gloves if available. Immobilize the foreign object with a paper cup, rolled bandages, etc. In the case of any foreign object in the eye or skin:Do not remove the object (unless it is a splinter in the skin only). Do not attempt to clean the area. Do not breathe on the area.

Blisters, First Aid

A blister (bulla) is caused when the outer layer of the skin separates from a layer of skin below, creating a collection of fluid between the layers. Blisters can be caused by chemical means, such as an allergic reaction; physical injury, such as from heat, frostbite, or friction; or from a disease. If the blister has been caused by a burn, see the Burns, First Aid write-up via the Disease List. If the blister has been caused by frostbite, see the Frostbite, First Aid write-up, which can also be found via the Disease List.First Aid GuideBlisters often go away on their own without needing any care, and the skin over the blister is its best defense against infection. If the blister is large or painful, however, you can drain the blister in such a way as to relieve the discomfort and hopefully avoid infection. Note: Blisters that look like they will pop on their own should be drained, unless the blister looks infected or you have a fever; multiple, grouped blisters; diabetes; or poor circulation. Clean your hands and the affected area with soap and warm water. Apply rubbing alcohol to the affected area. Wipe a needle with rubbing alcohol to sterilize it. Puncture the blister with the sterilized needle at its edge, making the hole big enough to drain fluid. Let the fluid drain, making sure to leave the overlying skin in place. Note: This skin will help prevent infection. Apply an antibiotic ointment (eg, bacitracin) to the blister, and bandage the affected area. Once the overlying skin has dried, allow it to fall off naturally or use sterilized scissors to cut the dead skin off. Apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage, if necessary.Prevention of blisters is key. The following measures will help prevent blisters from occurring: Wear acrylic socks, particularly ones that fit you well. While cotton socks were once the recommendation to avoid blisters, they tend to become misshapen when wet and are never as form-fitting as acrylic socks. When picking out shoes, be sure to go shopping during the middle of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen. (Feet normally swell as the day goes on.) Make sure you can wiggle your toes, and be sure that both the left and right shoes fit properly. (Many people have two different size feet.) Apply powder to your feet before activity that may cause friction. Wear work gloves when using tools that cause friction on hands.

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