Scars, Lacerations, Stitches, Punctures
There are several injuries that can affect and interrupt the skin. These include abrasions, lacerations, avulsions, puncture wounds, and burns. These types of injuries can be the result of many different accidents or trauma. They can occur due to a fall, motor vehicle accident, assault, shooting, stabbing or any other type of accident.
An abrasion is an injury to the skin that is caused by a rubbing of the skin against some type of surface. This can include a fall in which a person's knee rubs against the ground, bicycle accidents or the inflation of an airbag that rubs against a person's face. A well-known type of abrasion is known as "road burn". An abrasion is when the top layer of the skin is pulled or rubbed away, leaving the lower layers exposed. This type of wound does not require surgical repair. Although abrasions only involve the top layer of the skin, these injuries can be quite extensive and painful dependent upon the amount of skin area involved. If a person has significant dirt and foreign bodies imbedded in the wound, cleaning of the wound can be very painful. Treatment can consists of cleaning, topical antibiotic ointment and dressings as needed. Dependent of the size and depth of abrasions, scar can occur, especially with exposure of the area to the sunlight. Exposure to some abrasions may change the pigmentation of the area resulting in a scarred appearance.
Lacerations are wounds that are a resulting of a cut or tearing injury to the skin. Lacerations can range from minor with simple repair to extension involving muscles, tendons and ligaments requiring surgical repair and hospitalization. Treatment of lacerations, again, depends upon the severity of the wound. The area is cleaning and examined for any foreign bodies and then repaired. Lacerations are usually repaired with stitches and occasionally staples. The time the stitches remain in place depend upon the wound type and the wound location. Permanent scarring can occur, again, dependent upon with extent of the wound. Sun exposure to the wound can also change the pigment of the wound.
An avulsion is a loss of tissue, in which an entire section of skin is pulled away. This is often seen in fingertip injuries where a cutting action removes an entire section of the skin. This loss of skin prevents the edges of the wound to be pulled together as a laceration would. Many times, small avulsion areas heal without any surgical repair. If the avulsed area was adequately preserved after the injury, attempts may be made to reattach this section. However, large areas of avulsions usually require significant surgical intervention such as skin grafting.
Puncture wounds/missile injuries occur when an object punctures the skin. This can range from stepping on a nail, being shot, stabbed or assaulted with a sharp object. Other penetrating injuries include nails from a nail gun, high-pressured paint guns, or a rock projected from a lawn mower. Injury to the body caused by a penetrating object depends upon the entry site, the object used and the wound depth. Although puncture wounds usually bleed minimally, they also tend to seal off, increasing the risk for developing an infection. Puncture sites that involve bony areas may result in bone infections or infections of the joint capsules. Missile injuries, especially those with a high velocity, can result in significant injury along the path of the missile. This can result in extensive internal injuries from a single bullet wound.
Any injury to the skin can result in a permanent scar or develop an infection. The extent of the treatment, scarring and possibility of infection is dependent upon the type and extent of the injury.
Always get prompt medical attention for yourself or anyone suffering an injury to the skin. If you, a friend, or loved one wrongfully suffer from an abrasion, laceration or puncture wound, you ask why, and take immediate steps to protect your or their legal interest. Consider the suggestions in our accident guide, and call us immediately. We are here to help.
At Larry King, P.C., we recognize the unique issues pertaining accident victims. You can call us seven days a week, 24 hours a day, everyday of the year. You can now contact us on this web site. We are committed to doing the extra things it takes to help our clients. See also burn injuries.