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Symptoms and Signs of Puncture Wound

Doctor's Notes on Puncture Wound

A puncture wound is a traumatic injury caused by an object piercing the skin. This can be a superficial wound or a deep wound that penetrates into the tissues and organs beneath the skin. Causes of puncture wounds can include any sharp object, such as splinters, nails, scissors, glass fragments, or knives.

Signs and symptoms of a puncture wound depend on its location and severity. Common associated signs and symptoms are pain at the site of the wound and mild bleeding. In some cases, infection may set in and lead to additional symptoms like swelling, drainage of pus, warmth, and redness of the skin. Some puncture wounds may cause significant bleeding or loss of sensation or numbness in the affected area.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Puncture Wound Symptoms

  • Puncture wounds usually cause pain and mild bleeding at the site of the puncture. It is usually fairly obvious if a person is cut. However, small pieces of glass may cause puncture wounds that a person may not notice at first.
  • Infection may cause redness, swelling, pus, or watery discharge from a puncture wound that is not noticed or not treated properly.

Puncture Wound Causes

Common causes of puncture wounds are wood splinters, pins, nails, and glass. Puncture wounds may also be caused by objects such as scissors and knives. Almost any sharp object can potentially cause a puncture wound.

Cuts and Scrapes Caring for Wounds in Pictures Slideshow

Cuts and Scrapes Caring for Wounds in Pictures Slideshow

Blood helps clean wounds, so a little bleeding is good. Most small cuts and scrapes stop bleeding pretty quickly, but you can help by applying firm, gentle pressure with gauze or a tissue. If blood soaks through, put another piece of gauze or tissue on top, don't remove the old one or you may separate the wound and start the bleeding again.


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