"The pen is mightier than the sword"--at least according to playwright Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton. But slice your finger on the edge of an innocent-looking piece of paper and ... yowwwwwww! You'll learn firsthand of the awesome power of office supplies.
But here's what you can do about this skin-deep slice of life.
Use glue to renew. It's not exactly the kind of stuff they teach in medical school, but Krazy Glue, Super Glue or any other clear, super-strength bonder offers the fastest relief known to modern medicine. "It's really the best thing there is," says Rodney Basler, M.D., a dermatologist and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. "It eliminates pain in about three seconds, because it immediately stops the air from hitting nerve endings--and air touching the nerves is what causes the pain. Just place a drop on the cut and repeat it the following day."
Although it "seals" instantly, a drop of this glue wears off in a day or so. Just be sure you don' t touch something in the instant or so before it dries, because it does bond very quickly to whatever you touch.
Adds Nelson Lee Novick, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City: "These glues plasticize so quickly that they act as a sealant, so healing can take place while the finger is protected from air and germs. And they're completely safe, because a paper cut is so minor that they never enter the bloodstream." However, Elmer's and other white and yellow glues don't work this way.
Apply New-Skin. "A product called New-Skin, also available at your drugstore, stings a little but acts as a liquid dressing and is excellent for paper cuts," says Dr. Novick.
Feel serene with Vaseline. If you have no super-strength bonder or antibiotic ointment, apply some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to the cut. "It acts as a coating that prevents air from getting to sensitive, exposed tissue," explains Dr. Basler. "It also provides a moist base, so new skin tissues can grow more easily than if you apply nothing."
Nail that pain with nail polish. In a pinch, dabbing some clear nail polish after cleaning the wound will also seal it against air and germs, adds Dr. Novick. However, it doesn't promote faster healing.