How To Treat Cuts And Grazes The Right Way

New consumer survey reveals outdated Aussie approach to life’s little accidents; it’s time to change as school holidays start.

Nobody likes dealing with minor cuts and grazes and sometimes, the healing process can be more painful than the little accident itself. The fact is life’s little accidents are going to happen, but new consumer research shows Aussies are not treating minor cuts and grazes in the best way possible.

As school holidays are fast approaching, now is the time for Aussies to take the worry out of making the right wound care choice, helping to ensure life’s little accidents are treated effectively and heal well.

According to a new consumer survey commissioned by Smith & Nephew, Aussies are way behind the times when it comes to ensuring minor cuts and grazes are treated effectively. 

Nearly 1 in 3 Aussies (32%) admit to treating all cuts and grazes the same way, despite the fact there are many options available, and 62% admit to changing a regular plaster once a day or more often, despite nearly 4 in 10 Aussies (38%) agreeing that regular plasters are only slightly effective or not at all effective. 

Worryingly, 3 in 4 Aussies (75%) still believe that leaving a wound to dry out is the best way for it to heal.

According to Pharmacist with a special interest in wound care, Karen Carter, this is a myth that has consequences for the healing of minor cuts and grazes.

“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about treating wounds that can mean the incorrect treatment is used, or no treatment at all. Moist wound healing is important, rather than letting it “dry out” and scab over, which previously many people believed to be the best option but it can lead to longer – and unnecessary – healing times.”

Mrs. Carter continues: “People can think scabs are great – but that’s not the case. I try and educate people to understand that we actually don’t want cuts and grazes to dry out – the ideal environment for a wound is a moist environment which can aid healing.

A Pharmacist can educate people about the best products to use – for example, despite what people think, you don’t have to change a dressing daily or twice daily, there are options that can be left in place for several days.”

Interestingly, the survey found only 1 in 5 Aussies (19%) would seek the advice of a pharmacist about a severe cut or graze. 

“What can happen sometimes is an acute wound can turn into a chronic wound or become infected if left untreated. Chronic wounds are more difficult to heal. Infection may be avoided through a conversation with pharmacists or pharmacy assistants.

Just like every person is different, every wound is different and needs to be assessed and treated appropriately,” advises Mrs. Carter. 

Jessica Snape – busy mum to three children under 6 years of age – knows from first-hand experience the benefits of ensuring minor cuts and grazes are treated appropriately.

“As a mum, I’m constantly dealing with minor cuts and grazes my children get from exploring the world around them.

I always used to try and treat these myself, however, when my son Thomas grazed his knees and elbows from falling of his bike recently, I knew that I needed expert guidance from my local Pharmacy Assistant who recommended OPSITE◊ Post-Op.”

opo web banner2 | Stay at Home

OPSITE◊ Post-Op is Australia’s leading waterproof dressing, providing an easy solution when life’s little accidents happen.

Bacteria-proof and breathable, OPSITE◊ Post-Op is ideal for minor cuts, grazes and stitches. OPSITE◊ Post-Op also features a transparent film and absorbent pad, plus can be left in place for up to 7 days, as long as it still protects the wound and is sticking well.

It’s REACTIC◊ film technology also allows excess moisture to evaporate, which may help to minimise the risk of skin damage when exposed to moisture for a long period of time.

For more information on OPSITE◊ Post-Op visit:

36361360 opsite post op 6.5cm x 5cm ctn web1 | Stay at Home

Always read the label and follow the direction for use. ◊Trademark of Smith+Nephew. Smith+Nephew Pty Ltd. 34730-anz V1 02/22

The Digital Edge Weekly Omnibus Survey conducted amongst 1,500 Australians in February 2022. Internal Report.
Winter G. Formation of the scab and the rate if epithelialisation of superficial wounds in the skin of a young domestic pig. Nature 1962;193:293-294. 
McGuiness, W., E. Vella, and D. Harrison, Influence of dressing changes on wound temperature. Journal Of Wound Care. 20013;9:383-385.
IQVIA Scan Data – Traditional wound healing water protective adhesive dressings Feb 2022.
Smith+Nephew 2009. OPSITE POST-OP Dressing Physical Properties. Internal Report. DS/08/149/R3.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Smith+Nephew 2018. OPSITE POST-OP Film Bacterial Barrier Justification. Internal Report. RD/18/042.