Laceration is a physical damage to the skin and its underlying soft tissue. It can happen anywhere on your body and mostly occurs when you come in contact with sharp objects that tear through your skin. Lacerations can be of any size or shape and can leave your skin jagged. Depending on the area and size of your laceration you can bleed profusely and have decreased movement and sensation at the affected area.
Minor lacerations can be managed at home. You may apply direct pressure to stop bleeding, wash the area with clean warm water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover your wound with a sterile bandage. If you have a deep laceration, you are unable to stop bleeding or clean the wound, or if you suffered an animal bite you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. If your laceration does not heal in a couple of days or if your wound is showing signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, and drainage, consult your doctor without delay.
Your doctor will inquire about your injury and examine your wound. You may be recommended to have an X-ray of the injured area to check for any foreign object in your wound. Once your bleeding is controlled, your doctor will clean your wound and examine it. Any foreign particles will be removed. Depending on the extent of your injury, you may be given numbing medicines, and your laceration will be closed using sutures, staples, glue, or medical strips.
The healing period following a laceration varies with its location on your body. Lacerations over joints such as the knee or elbow may take a longer time to heal. It is important to keep your wounds clean and dry. Your doctor will instruct you on proper wound care to promote quicker healing.
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