How to Use a Styptic Pencil

by Kayar Sprang ; Updated September 28, 2017

A styptic pencil is used to stop minor bleeding that can result from shaving nicks and small cuts. Styptic pencils can also be used on canker sores (not open ones) to help them heal faster. Styptic pencils contain aluminum sulfate, a compound that contracts blood vessels and stops bleeding quickly.

Make sure that the bleeding is not too extensive. Major cuts may require medical attention. If it's a regular shaving cut, run some water over the nick to wipe away most of the blood before applying the styptic pencil to the wound.

Dip the tip of the pencil in water. Dab the moistened end of the styptic pencil on the nicks and cuts. You'll feel a slight stinging sensation.

Pack a styptic pencil on your next hiking or backpacking trip, as it can also be used to treat minor nicks and cuts from branches and brambles.


  • Look for styptic pencils in your local pharmacy. They are usually located in the same aisle as the shaving supplies.

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About the Author

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.