Minor skin wounds can often occur due to unexpected trauma and may include lacerations, cuts, abrasions, blisters, and puncture wounds.
Lacerations are wounds with an irregular shape and the skin surrounding the laceration often has ragged edges. Often, there is bruising and deeper skin damage. In contrast, a cut typically has clean edges as a result of the cause of injury, such as a sharp knife. If deep, lacerations and cuts can bleed profusely and muscle and nerve damage can occur. Abrasions or grazes are wound types that are more superficial and occur when the top layer of skin is removed when the skin slides across a rough surface. These types of injuries commonly contain gravel and dirt. Blisters are caused by friction between the top two layers of the skin. Puncture wounds are created by a pointed object such as a nail or knife, and usually do not cause too much bleeding. These wounds often seem to close almost instantly, but this doesn't mean treatment is not needed. A puncture wound, such as stepping on a nail, can be dangerous because of the risk of infection.
Infection is one of the biggest risks to consider for minor traumatic wounds. These wound types are considered "dirty wounds" since they often contain bacteria and debris from the cause of the injury. Application of a wound dressing should be preceded by cleaning the wound, a visual check for the presence of foreign material, and removal of any foreign material. If you have not received a tetanus shot within five years, your doctor may recommend a booster within 48 hours of injury.