Open wounds are injuries that cause a break in the skin or mucous membrane. They are a common occurrence in our daily lives and can range from minor cuts and scrapes to severe lacerations and puncture wounds. It is important to understand the different types of open wounds and the proper treatment methods to prevent infection and promote healing. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types of open wounds, including causes, symptoms, and treatment methods.
6 Types of Open Wounds
There are several types of open wounds, each with its own unique characteristics and treatment methods. They are:
These are also known as scrapes or superficial wounds that occur when the skin rubs or scrapes against a rough surface. Abrasions are common in sports and outdoor activities and are characterized by a loss of the top layer of skin. Abrasions are often seen on the knees, ankles, and wrists, as these areas are prone to contact with the ground or other surfaces during activities such as sports or outdoor recreation.
Wrist abrasion can occur from falling on an outstretched hand or from contact with rough surfaces. They can be painful and can cause bleeding and swelling. Abrasion on knee and similarly elbow abrasion can occur from a fall while running, walking, or sliding on rough surfaces.
The dressing for such abrasions includes cleaning the wound with soap and water, applying an antibiotic ointment, and covering the wound with a sterile gauze bandage.
These are deeper cuts that can be caused by sharp objects or blunt force trauma. They are characterized by jagged edges and can be quite painful. Lacerations can range in severity from small, superficial cuts to deep puncture wounds. Some laceration types of wounds are:
Crushing of the skin and subcutaneous tissues between two hard objects, splitting them apart and producing split lacerations (perpendicular impact).
Overstretching of the skin may tear it, producing a flap of skin in the direction of injury. It results due to tangential impact. An example is a laceration on the scalp when it hits the windscreen in an accident or a laceration due to kicks by a hard boot which raises a skin flap.
Irregularly directed impact with some blunt object can cause actual tearing of the skin. It is the flaying off such as blows from broken bottles.
These lacerations are produced by a weapon with sharp heavy edges such as an axe, or a hatchet. Margins show abrasions and bruising, these are usually homicidal.
Treatment for Laceration Wound
The dressing for laceration wounds is very important in order to prevent infection and promote healing. The following are the steps involved in treating lacerations:
- Cleaning: The first step in treating a laceration is to clean the wound. This can be done by washing the wound with water, or by using a sterile saline solution. This step is important to remove any dirt or debris that may be present in the wound.
- Applying Antibiotic Ointment: Once the wound has been cleaned, apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Applying Sterile Cotton Wrap: Next, it should be covered with a sterile cotton wrap for wounds. The dressing should be changed regularly to keep the wound clean and dry.
An incision wound is a type of laceration that is characterized by a clean cut caused by a sharp object such as a knife, razor, or scissors. These types of wounds are typically less deep than other lacerations, have smooth edges, and have minimal bleeding. There are several types of incision wounds:
Surgical Incision Wounds
These are incisions made by a surgeon during a surgical procedure. They are usually made with a sharp instrument or scalpel and are closed with sutures or staples.
These are incisions caused due to a traumatic event such as a knife or razor. They can range from small cuts to deep puncture wounds.
These are incisions made by the individual themselves, usually seen in cases of self-harm or suicide attempts.
These are incisions made as part of a cultural or religious ritual.
How to dress an incision wound?
Treatment of an incised wound and proper dressing is essential to prevent infection and promote healing. The following are the steps involved in dressing an incision wound:
- Cleaning: The first step in dressing an incision wound is to clean the wound.
- Applying antibiotic ointment: After cleaning the wound, apply an antibiotic ointment over the incision wound as this helps prevent infection.
- Covering the wound: Once the wound has been cleaned and antibiotic ointment has been applied, it should be covered with a sterile gauze dressing.
- Secure the dressing: The dressing should be secured in place using medical tape or a wound wrap dressing.
Related Article: How To Choose The Right Gauze Dressing For Wounds Healing?
Difference Between Laceration and Incised Wound
A laceration is a type of open wound that is characterized by deep cuts or tears in the skin. Lacerations can range in severity from small, superficial cuts to deep puncture wounds. They can have jagged edges, be irregular in shape, and cause significant bleeding. An incised wound, on the other hand, is a specific type of laceration that is characterized by a clean cut caused by a sharp object such as a knife, razor, or scissors. These types of open wounds are typically less deep than other lacerations and have smooth edges with minimal bleeding. They are usually caused by a controlled action such as a surgical incision or cutting with a sharp instrument.
A puncture wound is a type of laceration that is characterized by a small opening on the skin’s surface, caused by a sharp object such as a nail, needle, or a bite from an animal. These types of wounds can be quite deep and can be difficult to clean because they tend to seal over quickly, trapping any dirt or debris inside.
Different examples of puncture wounds are:
Foot puncture wound
A foot puncture wound is a type of laceration that occurs on the foot, caused by a sharp object such as a nail, needle, or a sharp rock. These types of wounds can be quite deep and are at risk of becoming infected.
Foot puncture wound treatment
The first step in treating a foot puncture wound is to clean the wound. This can be done by washing the wound with water, or by using a sterile saline solution. This step is important to remove any dirt that may be present in the wound. If the object that caused the wound is still in the wound, it should not be removed, instead, it should be left in place and the wound should be immediately covered with a cotton wrap for wounds and seek medical attention. However, if the puncture wound is deep, it may need to be closed with sutures or staples. This step is important to bring the edges of the wound together.
Puncture Wound in Back of Throat
A puncture wound in the back of the throat is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. This type of wound can be caused by a sharp object such as a toothpick, fishbone, or broken glass.
The treatment includes removing any foreign object, stopping any bleeding, cleaning and closing the wound, antibiotics to prevent infection, and close monitoring for any signs of infection. Depending on the situation, a breathing tube and/or IV fluids may be required.
An avulsion wound is a type of laceration that occurs when a portion of the skin and underlying tissue is torn away from the body. These types of wounds can be caused by a variety of factors, including blunt force trauma, animal or human bites, and accidents involving machinery. Avulsion wounds can be partial, where only a portion of the skin is torn away, or complete, where the entire thickness of the skin is torn away.
Avulsion Wound Treatment
The first step in treating an avulsion wound is to stop any bleeding and cover the wound with a sterile dressing. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a sterile dressing while also monitoring the wound for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, and discharge from the wound. However, if the wound is bigger and there is a skin opening, then it is important to close the wound with sutures or staples if necessary.
Some examples of avulsion on the body include ear avulsion and facial avulsion. Ear and face avulsions both injuries are usually caused by blunt force trauma, animal or human bites, or accidents involving machinery.
An amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or other body part. This procedure is typically done to treat a severe injury or disease that affects the limb or body part and cannot be treated through other means. Amputations can be classified into two types: traumatic and surgical. Traumatic amputations occur due to accidents, falls, and explosions, while surgical amputations are performed to treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, or peripheral vascular disease.
The type of amputation performed will depend on the location and severity of the injury or disease. The most common types of amputations include:
- Trans-tibial amputation (below the knee)
- Trans-femoral amputation (above the knee)
- Hand or finger amputation
- Arm or shoulder amputation
- Foot or toe amputation
Amputation wound treatment
Amputation wound treatment is as follows:
Amputation wound care
The amputation wound will be cleaned and dressed regularly to prevent infection and promote healing. The wound will be inspected for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, and discharge.
The person will be given medication to manage pain and discomfort. In some cases, nerve blocks may be used to help manage pain.
The amputation stump, or the remaining part of the limb, will be dressed and elevated to reduce swelling. The stump will be inspected for signs of infection, and exercises may be done to help prevent contractures.
The person will begin physical therapy to help improve mobility and strength in the remaining limb. The person will also learn how to use prosthetics or adaptive devices.
The person may be fitted for a prosthetic limb after the amputation wound has healed and the person has undergone physical therapy.
Avulsion vs. Amputation
An avulsion is a type of laceration where a portion of the skin and underlying tissue is torn away from the body and amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or other body part. Avulsion wounds are treated by cleaning, covering the wound with a sterile dressing, and monitoring it for signs of infection, whereas amputation is typically done to treat severe injuries or diseases that affect the limb or body part and cannot be treated through other means.
In conclusion, all types of open wounds can range in severity and can be caused by a variety of factors such as scrapes, cuts, punctures, avulsions, gunshots, and thermal, chemical, and electrical burns. It is important to know proper wound care and also be aware of when to seek medical attention if required.