Walk-in clinic shares valuable wound-related lessons
When you accidentally scratch or cut yourself, you may not consider it a wound. Usually, the word wound makes people think of a large gash in the skin. Surprisingly, there are a number of different types of wounds. And no matter the type, the greatest risk is an infection, which is why proper wound care matters.
Keep reading to learn about the types of wounds, how to care for wounds and when to seek expert care.
Types of wounds
A wound is when the skin, the body’s largest organ, is broken or suffers damage due to an injury. There are four common types of wounds:
- Abrasion – An abrasion is typically found on the surface of the skin, which leaves the top (and bottom) layers intact. An abrasion is often caused from intense friction on an abrasive surface like pavement or carpet.
- Incision – Also known as a cut, an incision is most often caused by a knife, razor blade or shards of metal or glass. Deep cuts can cause damage to ligaments, muscles and tendons. Incisions tend to bleed quickly and show a large amount of blood.
- Laceration – A laceration is an irregular cut, sometimes a result of a blunt object tearing the skin. It may go all the way to the muscle or the bone. Car accidents, machinery accidents and animal attacks are examples of ways that lacerations can occur.
- Puncture – These wounds are small in size and typically don’t bleed much. Puncture wounds are most often caused from a long and pointy object such as an ice pick, nail or needle. Depending on the location, a puncture can damage your organs.
A fifth category is a gunshot wound. You should seek immediate care and treatment from a medical professional if you receive a gunshot wound.
Care for a wound
- Bacteria, which cause infections, can come from surprising places, like the tree branch that you landed on, or not-so-surprising sources, such as the dirty kitchen knife that sliced your finger. Because the risk of infection is so high, it is imperative to clean the wound immediately.
- Use a mild cleaning solution such as mild soap and cover with clean gauze. Use sterile tweezers to remove any debris embedded into the wound.
- Never use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to clean your wound. They are too harsh for your sensitive skin.
- If you are bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. It’s important to seek the care of a medical professional if bleeding lasts more than 20 minutes or if there is an excess amount of bleeding.
- Keep your wound covered to ensure proper healing. Dry air can cause cell death, scarring and longer time for the wound to heal.
Seek medical care
As you care for your wound, you should make a visit to an urgent care clinic if:
- Bleeding doesn’t stop with direct pressure.
- Bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes.
- Your wound is or looks deeper than a half inch.
- You notice excessive inflammation or swelling around the wound.
- The wound is hot, has a foul odor or is painful – this could indicate an infection.
- The wound doesn’t seem to be healing.
Accidents can happen anytime, not just during regular business hours. That’s why, as an after-hours clinic in Little Rock, as well as in Shreveport and Natchitoches, Louisiana, we are here when you need us most. From stitches to X-rays, the emergency-trained physicians at Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center are ready to address all your medical needs.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional. If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or walk-in clinic for medical advice.