Skin Wound

A skin wound is damage to the surface of the skin. There are several types of skin wounds including:

  • Causes

    There are many different causes of skin wounds. Some possible causes include:

    • Injury, such as a fall or blow
    • Animal bite or human bite
    • Long periods of time spent in one position

  • Definition

    A skin wound is damage to the surface of the skin. There are several types of skin wounds including:

    • Puncture—This wound is often caused by a sharp or pointed object. It pierces through the skin. It can also affect the soft tissue beneath it.
    • Laceration—With this wound, the skin is torn or cut open. It can vary in size and shape and be deep or shallow.
    • Avulsion laceration—With this laceration, the skin is torn off completely or there is a flap of skin.
    • Pressure sore—These sores are lesions on the skin. They are caused by long periods of pressure over a bony part of the body. The hip and heel are common sites for this wound.
    • Incision—This is a cut caused by a sharp object like a knife, broken glass, or scissors.
    • Abrasion—With this wound, the skin is scraped or rubbed off. Minor abrasions affect only the top layer of skin. Deep abrasions affect deeper layers of tissue and are more likely to leave a scar.
    Pressure Sore (Skin Ulceration)
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your wound will be examined.

    Depending on the type of wound, your doctor may stage it. This means the doctor will assign a level that describes how serious the wound is. This will help decide how it should be treated.

  • Prevention

    There are many causes of skin wounds. Often, they may be due to accidents, which can be difficult to prevent. To help reduce your chance of getting a skin wound, take these steps:

    • Be careful when doing activities that can cause skin wounds. For example, use caution when handling sharp objects, such as knives and scissors.
    • Avoid going barefoot, especially if you have diabetes.
    • If you are confined to bed due to injury or bed rest, change your position often to prevent pressure sores. Check your skin for early signs of stress.

  • Risk Factors

    There are different risk factors for each type of skin wound. Some examples of risk factors include:

    • Being in an accident
    • Handling sharp objects (puncture, incision, or laceration)
    • Being confined to bed or wheelchair (pressure sores)
    • Occupation or activity choices that involve risky behavior

  • Symptoms

    Besides the obvious damage to your skin, you may also have:

    • Bleeding
    • Pain

  • Treatment

    Your treatment will depend on the type of wound and how severe it is. Options include: