Laceration Treatment Questions and Answers

If you have a laceration, get it looked at and treated today. Our doctors and team of health professionals at NorthWest Ohio Urgent Care serve children, adults, and seniors in Toledo, OH and Maumee, OH. Call us today to book an appointment.

Laceration Treatment Questions and Answers
Laceration Treatment Questions and Answers

How are lacerations treated?

Most minor lacerations can be treated through over the counter options. However, patients should call 911 if there is severe bleeding, blood is spurting from the wound or bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of steady, firm pressure. The first step in treatment of lacerations is to stop the bleeding by applying direct, firm pressure on the wound. Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the area using gentle soap and water, then pat dry. An antibiotic ointment should be applied to the wound to reduce chances of infection, and then the area should be covered with a sterile bandage. If it is a larger area, a sterile pad can be placed on top and held in place with medical tape. These items can all be found in a standard first aid kit or at your local pharmacy. Patients should seek medical attention if the cut is deep, on a joint or high stress area, unable to be properly cleaned or the patient hasn’t had a tetanus or booster shot in the last 5 to 10 years.

What is a laceration?

A laceration is a wound that can be internal or external to the body and is caused by the tearing open of skin, muscle or tissue. A laceration is different from a cut or incision in that it is often caused by an accidental tearing that results from an injury such as contact on the skin or internal organ by a blunt object. Lacerations are identified by the rough, jagged wound opening that results from the collision of an object against the skin as opposed to a straight line that you would see in a cut.

What are the different types of lacerations?

There are many different types of wounds in addition to lacerations. The most common wounds are abrasion, incision, laceration, penetration and puncture. People often confuse lacerations and incisions, while in reality they are actually different. Each wound has different traits that help distinguish and identify them and the type of wound will determine the treatment needed for it. An abrasion is caused by the skin scraping against a rough surface, which creates friction and can damage the skin. Abrasions are typically superficial wounds with the topmost layer of skin being scraped off. An incision is characterized by the clean edges of the cut and is caused by a sharp-edged object like a piece of glass, knife or razor.

A laceration is a jagged wound caused by tearing of the skin, tissue or muscle as a result of the force of a blunt object against skin. A penetration wound is caused when an object enters and then comes back out of the skin, such as a knife. A puncture is caused by an object passing through the skin or becoming impaled in it, typically with a pointed edge such as a needle or nail. Lacerations can be internal or external to the body, depending on the force of the object hitting the body. There are two types of incisions and lacerations – regular or linear, and stellate or irregular.

How long do lacerations take to heal?

Healing time will be dependent on the size, depth and location of the laceration, as well as the patient’s own individual health. For minor lacerations, the bandage should be removed after a couple of days to allow the laceration to breathe and heal. Lacerations that don’t appear to be healing after a couple days should be brought to the attention of a healthcare provider. Minor lacerations will heal quite quickly, although it may take several weeks for the mark to fully fade. Severe lacerations can take several weeks to heal, depending on the extent of the injury. We serve patients from Maumee OH, Toledo OH, Perrysburg OH, Monclova OH, Waterville OH, Holland OH, Rossford OH, Bowling Green OH, Haskins OH, and Walbridge OH.


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