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First Aid/Chunk of skin removed from first knuckle of thumb. Small portion of bone of cartilage visible.


I've just grated a chunk of skin off the top of the knuckle on my thumb with a cheese grater. The wound is about a quarter of an inch in diameter and is bleeding rather profusely. I'm also pretty sure I can see a small bit, less than a centimeter in diameter, of what looks to be cartilage or bone. I don't know where the missing bit of skin is, I lost it in my panic, but before that I noticed it included a bit of subcutaneous fat/tissue, whatever.
I'm no stranger to stitching myself up, but I don't think that's an option here.
I've also just had an impacted wisdom tooth removed so pain medication is involved.
I'm kind of freaking out. I know it's bone or cartilage, I touched it with my fingernail and it's hard and has no feeling.
I don't like seeing bits of my skeleton, no matter how small. I have no clue how to take care of this. Google has provided no answers.

Hi Amelia;

Please accept my apology for the delay in responding as I was dealing with family matters.

In reference to your question, what you seeing and touching is mostly likely the tendons and ligaments running around the thumb knuckle. Direct compression is the best method to control the bleeding as it may take some time to stop. The area will be sensitive to the touch and should be covered with a clean padded bandage to protect. After the wound begins to heal, you can apply a light coat of antibiotic ointment during dressing change. As the skin heals, some discomfort may be felt when bending the joint.

Hope this helps.


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Dave Hammond


What topics should a first aid kit cover? All aspects of keeping first aid skills and confidence current after training. New training and product technology.


US Navy Medic 1970-1974, Director of Medic training for US Navy, First aid instructor. 35 years in developing new first aid products. Multiple patent holder on new generation of first aid kits.

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B.A. Eastern New Mexico State, M.Ed George Washington University

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