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The Best Ways to Dry Out a Wound

By Jeremiah Blanchard ; Updated July 27, 2017

Exposed wounds and injuries can cause serious infection and—if left untreated—deadly infections. Drying out a wound properly and cleaning and dressing it can benefit and shorten the healing process. Open air has long been said by physicians to be the best thing for a wound to heal and essential for the healing process.


Decide whether your wound is serious enough to be treated as a significant threat. Minor scrapes and abrasions can usually be left alone to heal with appropriate bathing and bandaging. A cut secreting pus and gaping lacerations are serious wounds that need to be cared for promptly and correctly.


Wounds secreting pus or blood need to be cleaned first before drying and bandaging. Apply a damp cloth or gauze to the wounded area and dab or hold the gauze in place. Apply slight pressure until you see the gauze or cloth becoming discolored and damp. Use a thick gauze or cloth to ensure that the pus or blood will soak up efficiently. Using thin materials will take longer and can cause pain. Apply a dry cloth after the affected area has been cleaned thoroughly and hold it in place for a few minutes until pus secretion or bleeding stops. The coagulation of blood and pus will start after the wound has dried completely, so you may have to keep dabbing and checking the area for a few minutes or over the period of one hour, depending on the size of the wound.

Drying and Bandaging

Let the wound air-dry for a couple of hours after bleeding and pus secretion stops. Be careful not to cause the area to resume bleeding by touching it or moving erratically. Keep the affected area still and in open air until it looks completely dry, then apply an antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin) and bandage the wound if needed. A minor wound will usually develop a scab overnight as long as the wound remains dry. Take precautions while sleeping to ensure not opening the wound again and causing more bleeding or pus to develop. Make sure if you're rolling over or moving around that you are aware of the open wound and are careful not to bump into anything. The wound should dry overnight under these effective guidelines.

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