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Minor Cuts, Lacerations and Wounds

Minor skin wounds often occur as the result of unanticipated trauma and may include lacerations, cuts, abrasions, blisters, and puncture wounds.

Wound Types

Lacerations are irregular shaped wounds often with ragged skin edges. There is often deeper skin damage and bruising. A cut usually has clean edges as a result of the cause of injury e.g. a sharp knife. If deep, these wounds can bleed profusely and nerve and muscle damage can occur. Abrasions or grazes are more superficial wounds in which the top layer of the skin is removed from the skin sliding across a rough surface. These injuries often contain dirt and gravel. Blisters are the result of friction between the top two layers of the skin. A puncture wound is a wound made by a pointed object such as a nail or knife. A puncture wound doesn’t usually cause excessive bleeding. Often the wound seems to close almost instantly. But this doesn’t mean treatment isn’t necessary. A puncture wound, such as from stepping on a nail can be dangerous because of the risk of infection.


Infection is one of the largest risks for minor traumatic wounds. These are considered “dirty wounds” as they often contain debris and bacteria from the cause of the injury. A visual check for the presence of foreign material, its removal and careful wound cleansing may precede the application of a wound dressing. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot within five years, your doctor may recommend a booster within 48 hours of the injury.