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Cuts

Minor skin wounds often occur due to unexpected trauma and may include lacerations, cuts, abrasions, blisters and puncture wounds.

Types of Wounds

A laceration is a wound with an irregular shape. The skin surrounding a laceration often has ragged edges and there’s usually bruising and deeper skin damage. On the other hand, a cut typically has clean edges as a result of the cause of injury, such as a sharp knife. If deep, lacerations and cuts can bleed profusely and muscle and nerve damage can occur. Abrasions or grazes are more superficial and happen when the top layer of skin is removed after sliding across a rough surface. These types of injuries commonly contain gravel and dirt. Blisters are caused by friction between the top two layers of the skin. Puncture wounds are caused by a pointed object like a nail or knife, and don’t usually cause too much bleeding. These wounds often seem to close almost instantly, but this doesn’t mean treatment is not needed. A puncture wound, such as stepping on a nail, can be dangerous because of the risk of infection.

Infection

Infection is one of the biggest risks of minor wounds. “Dirty wounds” often contain bacteria and debris from the cause of the injury. These wounds should be cleaned and have any foreign materials removed before being dressed. If you have not received a tetanus shot within five years, your doctor may recommend a booster within 48 hours of the injury.