Symptoms and Signs of Cuts or Lacerations

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Cuts or Lacerations

Cuts and lacerations are terms for the same condition. A cut is a skin wound that results in separation of the skin, often caused by a sharp object (such as a knife or a shard of glass). A laceration refers to a torn or jagged wound that also tends to be caused by sharp objects or blunt force.

Symptoms that may accompany cuts and lacerations include bleeding, infection (signs of infection include severe pain, draining pus, redness beyond the wound edges, fever and chills, or excessive wound swelling), inflammation and minor redness in the skin around the injury, pain, damage to structures beneath the skin; exposure of underlying tissues such as fat, tendon, muscle, or bone if the cut is deep; fainting at the sight of blood (this is a neurological reaction in which a reflex slowing of the heart causes a low blood pressure called vasovagal syncope), and possible future scars.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.