When to Visit Urgent Care For Wound Care

Wound Care North Las Vegas, NV

Some patients require urgent but not emergency wound care. Urgent care is the answer if you have a wound that is not life-threatening but still requires medical attention. Although not a medical emergency, waiting to see a doctor about minor cuts and injuries is not recommended. Wash the affected area with soap and water, then head to urgent care for a medical consultation.

Urgent care treats non-life-threatening wounds

It can be difficult to tell whether to go to the emergency room, urgent care, or primary care physician. For patients who do not have a primary care physician or cannot get in to see them, wound care tends to fall to urgent care doctors. Here are some of the most common wounds for which patients present at the urgent care.

Minor animal bites and scratches

Cat and dog bites can easily become infected. This is true even if the wound was from a vaccinated animal, such as a pet dog current with his shots. If the bite broke the skin and caused bleeding, see an urgent care doctor within 24 hours.

Cat scratches may also become infected. Again, consult a doctor within 24 hours from the time of the scratch. If the patient develops flu-like symptoms and notices that the cat scratch has become red or inflamed, they should seek medical help immediately. These are the signs of cat scratch disease, a real but treatable medical condition.

Antibiotics and a tetanus shot may be given to prevent or combat infection from an animal wound.

Minor scrapes and cuts

Minor knife cuts from cooking are a common example of a cut that warrants a trip to urgent care. Cuts from foreign objects, cuts contaminated by rust, cuts on the face or genitalia, and needlestick injuries should also be seen by a doctor.

Urgent care doctors can assess these minor cuts and scrapes, including those deeper than a quarter of an inch. As long as the edges are neat (not jagged), patients can get stitches at urgent care. If the patient is not up to date on their tetanus shot, the doctor will likely recommend getting a booster shot to prevent infection.

Minor burn wounds

First-degree burns typically heal on their own. However, second-degree burns carry a higher risk for complications. Consult an urgent care doctor for second-degree burns from cooking, hot appliances, chemicals, or currents of electricity.

Second-degree burns are painful, as they affect the top two layers of the skin, the epidermis and dermis. The burn wound will appear red or white, and blisters may form. The skin may appear swollen or splotchy.

When to go to the emergency room

Urgent care cannot treat patients with medical emergencies. That includes patients with certain wounds, such as if:

  • The wound is spurting blood
  • The bleeding will not stop or slow down
  • Fat, muscles, veins, or bones are exposed
  • The wound is on the head and causes bleeding
  • The wound is deeper than a quarter of an inch and has jagged edges


Visit urgent care for non-emergency wound care. To prevent infection, it is best to wait no more than 24 hours after the wound is sustained. Urgent care doctors can also treat infected wounds.

Request an appointment here: https://encompasscarelv.com or call Encompass Care at (702) 514-4295 for an appointment in our North Las Vegas office.

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