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Self-harm first aid kit
by TeenHelp August 10th 2016, 02:37 AM

Self-harm first aid kit
By Cassie (Cassado)

Note: This article does not encourage self-harm in any way. It is a resource that makes suggestions on what you can use to help you take care of your body if you do self-harm. The following information is not professional advice and should not be used to replace professional medical attention.

Many people struggle with self-harm, but not as many take care of their injuries. People are often scared to seek help, or are unable to seek help without their parents' knowledge. Some people don't think their injuries need to be taken care of, and other people neglect them as a way to punish themselves. If you struggle with self-harm, you may benefit from having a first aid kit around.

First, you need to decide if a first aid kit is right for you. Ideally, they're helpful to have around so you can take care of your body to prevent infection. However, it is easy for you to make a first aid kit with the means of using it to justify or encourage self-harm. You may think that you have to self-harm because you have a first aid kit or you might feel as though you can try to make your injuries worse because the kit will help with everything. Having a first aid kit is not so you can self-harm, but rather to help you take care of yourself if you have self-harmed. A first aid kit is not a replacement for professional help, and you should definitely seek additional help if you think you need it. The following list is of a few items to consider keeping in your kit.

An old bathroom towel or a dish cloth. You can use an old towel as a barrier when you put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. To clean the towel, you can soak it in cold water and rub the fabric together. You can use a soap or a laundry detergent as well. If the towel is white or you don't particularly care about the color, you can consider bleaching it. Let it air dry if you can, as the heat from the dryer tends to set the stains in.

Gauze. You can get a roll of it, or purchase gauze pads. Removing adhesive gauze from cuts or burns can be painful, especially if you use a lot of pressure when applying them. Non adhesive is beneficial for deep wounds, while adhesive is better for other wounds. If you're unable to purchase gauze, consider looking into cotton rounds, which are usually found in the health and beauty section of a store. Cotton rounds are a bit smaller but they can be used for smaller injuries. Also consider getting bandages in a variety of sizes for different injuries.

Medical tape. Medical tape can be used to help the gauze stick on your skin. There is a wide variety, from hypoallergenic to foamy. Paper medical tape is lighter than other tapes and can be a good choice for use in warmer weather. However, it tears easily, and is not suitable if you're active or if your injury is on a part of your body that moves a lot. Hypoallergenic tape can help if you have sensitive skin, while plastic and fabric tape can help to hold more dressings to your wound. Plastic tape in particular allows your wound to "breathe", and fabric tape allows you to move more. To remove the tape residue from your skin, try a little bit of baby oil.

Butterfly stitches, or steri strips. Butterfly stitches (also known as steri strips) are little strips that are used to help close the skin and encourage it to heal. They are normally used for small cuts, and they're good for cuts that have trouble closing on their own but don't quite need stitches. However, they are not a replacement for stitches from a medical center.

A cleaning agent. Solutions such as hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and iodine can sometimes irritate a wound instead of help it. The best way to clean a cut is by using soap and water, but you can look into some gentle wound cleaner, such as the one by Band-Aid.

Antibacterial cream. Antibacterial creams helps treat and prevent infection by getting rid of bad bacteria on the skin or in a wound. Although antibacterial cream does help healing, it doesn't make the wound heal any faster (contrary to popular belief).

An ice pack. Keep an ice pack in the freezer so it is readily available if you need it. You can use it to reduce swelling if you've self-harmed by bruising yourself or spraining a bone. You can also use it to reduce the swelling that accompanies some wounds. If you do not want to keep an ice pack in your freezer, consider getting an air activated cold pack that sticks to your skin.

Resources. You may benefit from keeping a folded copy of a list of hotlines, or different emergency services to call in the event that you need professional medical attention. You can benefit from keeping a copy of first aid information as well.
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