Mistakes happen, situations occur on the water that are out of our control. We can't always prevent accidents, but we can prepare for them. One of the easiest and fastest fixes is knowing how to properly apply steri strip bandages. Steri strip bandages are thin adhesive strips that can close a sizable laceration in seconds. I carry them in my in my fist aid kit always and they are very affordable at CVS or Walgreens.
First you want to clean the skin around the wound for any bacteria that can cause infection and clean away any dirt or slime that will prevent the steri strips from sticking. I find that a small alcohol prep pad works best for this.
Next, may sure the area is dry to allow for proper adhesion of the steri strips. You may need to cut the steri strips down to a desirable length based on the location of the wound. Press down the steri strip on one side of the laceration and use your free hand to pinch the wound as close to closed as possible and pull the free end of the steri strip down and apply light pressure to make sure you have a good hold on the skin. The two sides of the cut skin should be touching or as close as possible.
Repeat this step until you have successfully closed the entire length of the wound. Apply as many strips as necessary to fully close and secure the wound. Next, apply vertical strips to take away tension on the horizontal strips for a solid closure.
Lastly, I always smear a little triple antibiotic ointment over the wound to further prevent any infections. Cover the strips with an appropriate bandage to prevent any peeling off of the steri strips. I prefer Tegaderm, it provides an almost water tight and air tight seal. However, any bandage covering will work.
For me, preparing for these unwanted situations and having the proper supplies allows me to fix what needs fixing and stay on the water longer knowing that I have taken every step possible to secure my health and safety.