Understanding Wounds

A wound is an injury resulting from an external force such as a physical blow, strike, trauma, or otherwise inflictive contact. Wounds can be grouped into two primary categories based on the integrity of the skin: intact and lacerated. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of each type of wound, the treatments available, and preventative measures.

Types of Wounds

Intact skin wounds are those that do not break the skin. These can be caused by blunt trauma such as a blow, or friction against an object such as a scrape or abrasion. Lacerated wounds are those which have resulted in a tear or cut in the skin. Any of the following can cause a laceration: a sharp or blunt object, a bite, or a puncture wound.

Treatment and Management of Wounds

The treatment of a wound depends on the type and severity of the injury. Intact skin wounds can often be treated at home with over the counter medications and home remedies. For more severe wounds, or lacerations, medical attention may be required. Some treatments may include:

  • Cleaning and debridement of the wound to remove any dirt, debris or dead tissue.
  • Closing the wound with sutures or staples if needed.
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Covering the wound with a bandage.
  • Prescribing antibiotics or pain medications if needed.

Preventative Measures

If possible, it is best to avoid any situations in which a wound may occur. However, some wounds are unavoidable. When possible, these steps can help reduce the risk of injury:

  • Always wear protective gear when engaging in activities that may pose a risk for injury such as biking, skiing, and skateboarding.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in unfamiliar areas like wilderness trails.
  • Keep your hands and feet clean and dry to avoid contact with dirty or contaminated objects.
  • Check the home for potential hazards, such as loose rugs and furniture which could cause falls.


Wounds can range from mild to severe, and may require medical attention. Understanding the types of wounds, treatments, and preventative steps is important for minimizing injury and promoting quick recovery. Taking the necessary precautions can help to ensure that wounds do not become a liability.