Doctor wrapping ace bandage on child’s wrist.

Cuts & Scrapes


What Is an Open Skin Wound?

Any injury involving a break in the skin can be considered an open wound. The most common causes of open wounds include car accidents, falls, and injuries involving sharp objects. There are four basic categories of open wounds:

 

Abrasions:

An abrasion is commonly referred to as a scrape and normally occurs when the skin rubs against something hard or rough. Road rash following a fall from a bike or skateboard is a common type of abrasion. Although there is generally not a lot of blood associated with a scrape, it is important to clean the wound to prevent infection.

Lacerations:

A laceration involves cutting or tearing of the skin. Depending on the depth of the wound, lacerations can cause significant bleeding. Accidents involving knives, machinery, and other sharp objects are some of the common causes of lacerations.

Punctures:

Puncture wounds are typically caused by long, pointed objects, such as nails. Depending on the location and depth of the puncture, there may not be significant blood loss, but there can still be damage to organs or other internal body structures. Even small puncture wounds can pose a serious risk of infection, so you should see a doctor to determine if you need a tetanus shot. You should never try to remove an object embedded in a puncture wound since this could cause further damage.

Avulsions:

Avulsions involve either a partial or complete tearing away of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Avulsions typically occur following extremely violent or traumatic injuries, such as gunshots, explosions, or crushing accidents. Avulsions are often associated with heavy, rapid blood loss.


Minor Wound Treatment


How Do I Provide First Aid for an Abrasion Wound?

You should start by gently cleaning and disinfecting the wound to remove any dirt and debris. If the wound is bleeding, you should apply direct pressure until it is under control. While it is okay to leave minor cuts and scrapes uncovered, it is normally best to cover the area with a sterile bandage or dressing for several days to promote faster healing and to protect the wound from infection and further injury. Ice and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate swelling and pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Wound Treatment?

Certain wounds should be treated by a doctor because of the risk of bleeding, scarring, or infection. You should seek wound treatment if:

  • The wound is large or more than 1/4 inch deep or you can see fat or muscle
  • The bleeding lasts for longer than 20 minutes or does not stop with direct pressure
  • The injury is the result of a serious accident
  • The wound is on the face or another part of the body where scarring is a concern
  • The wound limits function or movement
  • The wound is caused by any type of bite
  • There is an object or debris embedded in the wound
  • You experience increased pain or signs of infection

What Are the Signs of an Infected Cut or Scrape?

Signs of an infected cut or scrape can include:

  • Redness or warmth around the affected area
  • Increased drainage from the wound
  • Drainage that is yellow, brown, or yellow
  • Drainage with a foul odor
  • A fever in excess of 100.4°F

Burns


What Are Burn Wounds?

Burn wounds are tissue damage caused by exposure to hot objects or liquids, chemicals, radiation, electrical currents, and sunlight or tanning beds. Burns are classified according to the depth of the skin damage:

First-Degree Burns:

First-degree burns only affect the outermost layer of skin known as the epidermis, which can cause redness and pain.

Second-Degree Burns:

Second-degree burns penetrate both the epidermis and the dermis underneath. The skin may swell and appear red, white, or splotchy. It is common for blisters to develop and for the pain to be severe. Because the damage penetrates deeper into the skin, there is an increased risk of scarring.

Third-Degree Burns:

Third-degree burns penetrate all the way to the subcutaneous fat beneath the skin. The affected area may have a leathery appearance and be brown, black, or white in color.


Burn Treatment


Burn treatment varies based on the location and severity of the tissue damage. In the case of severe burns, treatment may include:

  • Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Special dressings and therapies to stimulate healing
  • Assistance with breathing and feeding
  • Skin grafts
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Medications for pain and infection control

How Do I Provide First Aid for an Abrasion Wound?

You should start by gently cleaning and disinfecting the wound to remove any dirt and debris. If the wound is bleeding, you should apply direct pressure until it is under control. While it is okay to leave minor cuts and scrapes uncovered, it is normally best to cover the area with a sterile bandage or dressing for several days to promote faster healing and to protect the wound from infection and further injury. Ice and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate swelling and pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Burn Treatment?

You should seek emergency medical treatment for any of the following

  • Burns that cover large portions of the body
  • Burns that affect the face, hands, feet, groin, or major joints
  • Any burn caused by electricity or chemicals
  • Any burn affecting the airway or that causes difficulty breathing
  • Any burn that appears deep or that has the characteristics of a third-degree burn

 

 


Wounds


What Are Chronic Wounds?

Certain individuals, such as those with diabetes or poor circulation, often experience impaired wound healing and may require the services of a wound care center for advanced treatments, such as debridement (the removal of damaged tissue), hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and specialized dressings.

 

Where Can I Get Wound Treatment Near Me?

Whether you need minor burn care or open wound care, an MD Now provider can help. We offer a range of wound treatment services, from sutures to medications to prevent wound infection. We have 43 locations across South Florida and offer extended hours for your convenience.


The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.