Wound Care (cont.)
Wound Causes and Types
Wounds occur when the skin is broken or damaged because of injury. The skin
can be damaged in a variety of ways depending upon the mechanism of injury.
- Inflammation is the skin's initial response to injury.
- Superficial (on the surface) wounds and abrasions leave the
deeper skin layers in tact. These types of wounds are usually caused by
friction rubbing against an abrasive surface.
- Deep abrasions (cuts or lacerations) go through all the layers of the skin and into underlying
tissue like muscle or bone.
- Puncture wounds are usually caused by a sharp pointed object
entering the skin. Examples of puncture wounds include a needle stick,
stepping on a nail, or a stab wound with a knife.
- Human and animal bites can be classified as puncture wounds,
abrasions, or a combination of both.
- Pressure sores (bed sores) can develop due to lack of blood
supply to the skin caused by chronic pressure on an area of the skin (for
example, a person who is bedridden, sits for long hours in a wheelchair, or
a cast pressing on the skin). Individuals
with diabetes, poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease), or malnutrition
are at an increased risk of pressure sores.
Proper wound care is necessary to prevent infection, assure there are no
other associated injuries, and to promote healing of the skin. An additional
goal, if possible, is to have a good cosmetic result after the wound has
This wound care article is designed to present information on wounds
involving mainly the skin; it is not meant to cover all wounds (for example,
gunshot, degloving wounds, tendon lacerations, and others).
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