What are the types of wounds? There are numerous types of wounds, though each wound falls into one of two categories: open or closed wounds. However, within these categories, the levels of severity can vary greatly. Wounds may sometimes be deceptive. Relatively minor injuries can cause great alarm, and conversely, quite serious injuries sometimes end up going unnoticed or untreated. Types of open or closed wounds can include anything from a bruise to a pinprick to bullet wounds. To expand upon the numerous types of wounds within these two categories, let’s explore some of the more common varieties.
Abrasions: These types of wounds are typically minor in nature, though they may certainly be painful. Abrasions are more commonly called a ‘scrape’ and can result from accidents such as falling on concrete or gravel or any events in which the skin slides against a particularly unforgiving surface. Common examples included skinned knees and elbows, though some burns may also be considered abrasions if they happen to remove the epidermis. While abrasions are generally not serious wounds, it is important to clean and treat these types of wounds properly, particularly if the abrasion is severe enough to potentially cause later scarring.
Lacerations: In medical terminology, we describe injuries in which the skin is damaged to the point of being torn or cut as lacerations. Like abrasions, lacerations are open wounds, and they can be fairly minor to quite serious, depending on the depth and cause of the laceration. These types of wounds can require immediate medical treatment, and in some cases, stitches or staples may be necessary. Common causes of lacerations include cuts to the skin with a knife, being hit or making contact with a blunt object, or injuries as a result of fighting.
Puncture wounds: These types of wounds are classified as open wounds and are typically the result of a foreign object accidentally puncturing the skin. With all puncture wounds, seeking medical attention is standard practice, particularly in the event of being bitten, which can lead to serious infection, or in the event of stepping on a piece of sharp metal, which can eventually lead to tetanus in some instances. Needles can also cause puncture wounds, though these are typically far less serious. However, it is best to take every possible precaution when dealing with all types of wounds.
Contusions: These types of wounds are more often referred to as bruises, and fall into the closed wound category. Unlike open wounds, the skin is not torn or scraped, but rather, damage occurs below the skin’s surface. Contusions (bruises) are generally not cause for concern, and are often the result of blunt force applied to the body. For example, hitting one’s knee against a piece of furniture, accidentally bumping knocking one’s elbow against a doorframe, or simply falling down can cause these types of wounds. However, as with open wounds, the severity of the injury can vary. Deep bruising may require medical attention, and it’s always recommended to exercise one’s best judgment when encountering contusions, as they may be more serious than they initially appear.