Sep 3, 2021 by

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An open wound is an injury that involves an external break of the skin or an internal break of body tissue. Almost everyone has experienced an open wound at some point in their life, either from a scratch, cut by a sharp object, falling, accident, etc. Most of the minor open wounds are treatable at home, and some heal on their own. But in case of a severe injury or accident, you should immediately seek medical attention, especially if it involves a lot of bleeding.

Types of open wounds

There are various types of open wounds based on their cause:

  • A laceration is a deep cut that tears your external skin and gets deep into the tissue. Lacerations are caused mainly by accidents involving machinery, knives, and sharp tools. It can be extensive and rapid, depending on the extent of the accident.
  • Abrasion is when your skin rubs hard against a rough surface, for example, a road rash when you fall with a bike. It doesn’t involve a lot of bleeding in most cases. An abrasion requires to be cleaned to prevent an infection.
  • A puncture wound is a minor hole caused by a sharp object such as a needle, nail, or any other pointy object. Even a bullet can cause a puncture wound. A puncture may not bleed as much, but it cuts deeper into the tissues and damages internal organs. If you have a puncture, even if it is minor, a tetanus shot and cleaning are necessary to prevent infection.
  • An avulsion is partial or whole tearing of the external skin and the underlying tissues. It occurs during a severe accident such as a road accident, gunshot, and explosion. It also bleeds heavily, so medical attention is necessary.
  • Other wounds include diabetic ulcers, burns, pressure ulcers, post-surgical wounds, and other chronic wounds.

Treatment of open wounds

Minor wounds are treatable at home, but others require medical attention. According to woundcareoc.com, you should immediately seek professional wound treatment if you encounter a severe accident, especially a wound that bleeds for more than 20minutes.

Caring for minor wounds

You should wash and disinfect the wound to eliminate dirt. You can use pressure and elevation to control bleeding. When wrapping an open wound, always use a sterile bandage, although minor wounds can heal without a dressing. You must ensure the wound is dry and clean, and you can apply ice if there is bruising or swelling.

Medical treatment

You should seek professional wound care if the wound is:

  • Deeper than half an inch.
  • Bleeds for more than 20minutes.
  • Bleeding doesn’t stop with direct pressure.
  • It is a result of a severe accident.
  • The wound is infected or has pus.
  • It is a chronic wound.
  • Has a foul odor.
  • Redness or warmth around the wound and signs of spreading.
  • Darkening skin around the wound.
  • Increasing pain.
  • fever

A tetanus shot is necessary if you have a puncture wound. Professional wound care involves cleaning, numbing the area, suturing, or stitching the wound. Antibiotics and painkillers may also be necessary to prevent an infection and ease pain. If the wound has a bacterial infection, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue.

The takeaway

Seeking professional wound care ensures you get proper wound treatment and prevent the risks of complication and infection.

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