ZocdocAnswersHow do I get oil out of a deep cut?

Question

How do I get oil out of a deep cut?

I was changing a gymnastics bar that was stuck and all of a sudden it fell, pinching my finger and splitting open the skin on the tip of my finger. I've soaked my finger in soapy water but there is oil residue under the skin in spots. do I need to worry about infection?

Answer

Wow, that sounds like it hurts. You should always present to emergency department or your primary care physician's office for evaluation whenever you have a laceration such as this. I can't tell for sure without actually seeing the cut myself but it sounds like you've done the right things. In general, it is recommended with the soft tissue lacerations such as the one you describe that it get cleaned out with mild soap and water. We do not tend to recommend other types of cleaning such as hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes it will heal better with antibiotic ointment placed underneath the bandage though this is not always necessary. The key part of the cleaning you've already done and that is to soak it with warm soap and water. The fact that you have seen some bits of oil left in the cut might not be of much consequence. You just have to make sure that you have cleaned it out as much as possible. It does tell me that the cut was dirty enough that you might need a tetanus shot. One thing I would be worried about the cut like this though is whether or not she actually needed stitches. Again, you should always present to emergency department or your primary care physician's office for evaluation whenever you have a laceration such as this. Lacerations that require stitches need to be seen within the first 12 hours for ideal closure.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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