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Laceration versus puncture wound

Laceration versus puncture wound

Overview

A laceration is a wound that is produced by the tearing of soft body tissue. This type of wound is often irregular and jagged. A laceration wound is often contaminated with bacteria and debris from whatever object caused the cut.

A puncture wound is usually caused by a sharp pointy object such as a nail, animal teeth, or a tack. This type of wound usually does not bleed excessively and can appear to close up. Puncture wounds are also prone to infection and should be treated appropriately.

Review Date 9/23/2019

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.