Symptoms and Signs of Puncture Wound

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 2/11/2022

Doctor's Notes on Puncture Wound

A puncture wound is a traumatic injury caused by an object piercing the skin. It can be a superficial wound or a deep wound that penetrates into the tissues and organs beneath the skin. Puncture wounds can be caused by 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 such as:

  • 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.

What Is the Treatment for a Puncture Wound?

Puncture wounds are initially managed by:

  • Cleaning the wound
  • Stopping the bleeding
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection

Further treatment of a puncture wound depends on the location and severity of the wound as well as the likelihood of infection:

  • Surgical repair may be required for deep puncture wounds.
  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics may be required for infected wounds or wounds that are at high risk of becoming infected.


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