MUST-HAVES Cotton balls and swabs, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, calendula, silver-infused bandages
To prevent infection, rinse the scrape with a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide, says Merrell. If the cut looks nasty, follow the rinse with a dab of Neosporin, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, applied with a cotton swab.
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., prefers calendula, a yellow flower with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral compounds. Apply a calendula cream (2 percent to 5 percent strength) to cuts and scrapes three or four times a day, and cover with a bandage. "But I don't recommend antibiotic bandages," says Dean. "You could be contributing to germ resistance by using them when they're not necessary." Silver-infused bandages block the growth of bacteria without any danger of germs building resistance.