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 1/12/2015
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.