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Cuts or Lacerations

Cuts or Lacerations Overview

A cut refers to a skin wound with separation of the connective tissue elements. Unlike an abrasion (a wound caused by friction or scraping), none of the skin is missing the skin is just separated. A cut is typically thought of as a wound caused by a sharp object (such as a knife or a shard of glass).

The term laceration implies a torn or jagged wound. Lacerations tend to be caused by sharp objects. Cuts and lacerations are terms for the same condition.

The term gash can be used for more dramatic effect because it implies a longer or deeper cut.

An avulsion refers to a wound where tissue is not just separated but torn away from the body.

After you suffer a cut you often bleed. Other concerns with a cut include infection, pain, damage to structures beneath the skin, and future scars.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2014

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