How to Treat Every Minor Bathroom Injury

A doctor shows us how to care for shaving nicks, shampoo in the eye and other bathroom-related boo-boos.


The bathroom is a dangerous place, filled with chemicals, sharp objects and slippery floors. (Pretty dramatic opening, huh??) For that reason, we enlisted primary care physician Dr. Marc Leavey to explain how to treat any damage you might incur behind the bathroom door. Here’s his advice.

The Injury: Shaving Nicks
The Treatment: The simplest way to treat a shaving nick is to apply direct pressure with a piece of tissue paper for three to five minutes. Once the time is up, Leavey recommends washing the tissue away with water, rather than ripping it off, which would likely reopen the cut. For more serious cuts ― especially those to your tender areas ― Leavey suggests a styptic pencil, which helps the blood clot.

Once you’ve officially stopped the bleeding, clean the area with soap and water to prevent infection. Leavey warns against using alcohol or peroxide to clean the wound, as they irritate the edges of the cut, lengthening the healing process.

The Injury: Shampoo (or Conditioner) in the Eye
The Treatment: The only treatment necessary for an eye hit by shampoo or conditioner is to immediately flush it with clean water, according to Leavey. “Once the irritating agents have been removed, a soothing artificial tear drop may be used to relieve any persistent stinging,” he adds. If your vision is affected or the eye remains red for more than 24 hours, however, we recommend visiting an optometrist.

The Injury: A Minor Burn
The Treatment: Minor burns that don’t blister ― like those incurred by blindly grabbing the wrong end of a blow dryer ― can be treated by immediately rinsing with cold water, then applying a cold compress. “Keep the burn clean and dry, and don’t apply moisturizers or other such remedies,” Leavey says, adding that aloe vera is fine if the surface of the skin is still intact. For burns that break the skin or show signs of infection, however — say, from blindly grabbing the wrong end of a curling iron — Leavey recommends visiting a physician.

The Injury: Bleeding Gums
The Treatment: “If there’s a specific bleeding site, you can apply pressure to the area with a wadded up piece of tissue or a cotton ball,” Leavey explains. “You can also swish with a weak saltwater rinse ― that is, no more than a teaspoon of table salt per 12 ounces of water [about the size of your average glass].” That said, your gums shouldn’t be bleeding so long as you’re flossing properly and frequently (once a day), so once you’ve stopped the bleeding, Leavey suggests paying your dentist a visit.

The Injury: A Rash
The Treatment: If a new product has you breaking out in a rash, Leavey recommends washing off any residue with mild soap and water, and simply avoiding continued use of said product. If that doesn’t clear things up, apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the affected area to reduce itchiness ― just don’t put it on your face, which is extra sensitive, and thus, requires the attention of a physician.

The Injury: Blood on the Toilet Paper
The Treatment: If the stool itself is normal, but you notice a bit of blood on the toilet paper, you may have a small tear of the membranes of your anus or a little hemorrhoid,” Leavey explains, adding that both can be soothed by an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or a diaper rash cream. “If there’s blood in the stool itself, you’re experiencing discomfort when going to the bathroom or you notice any slight change in the nature of your bowel movements, you should seek medical attention.” That’s because, as we’ve learned before, your number twos are a big window into your overall health.

Who knew the bathroom could be so hazardous?