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Minor wounds

Types of wounds



In general, to make things simpler, we must make a distinction between clean wounds, which are wounds in which we can clearly see that there are no foreign objects or traces of harmful material, and dirty wounds, which include all other types of wounds, wider, deeper or longer wounds in which we are unable to see whether there are any traces of stone inside the wound or where the wound ends, and sometimes it is possible to see an area of damaged flesh.

Incisive wounds: clean edges.
Penetrating wounds: with clean, deep edges.
Contusive wounds: torn tissues, sometimes with a loss of matter. These wounds include bites.

The most common wounds, and also the least dangerous, are grazes, which consist of scrapes on the skin surface that leave small blood vessels visible, leading to bleeding of the blood capillaries.

These wounds are popularly known as grazes or scrapes, and are often the result of accidental falls, occurring most often on more prominent, exposed areas of the body such as the elbows or knees... Bicycles and motorbikes are usually the cause of this type of wound.

In erosions, small fragments of material against which the area has been subjected to impact may remain inside the wound: grains of sand, asphalt or other materials.


Incisive wounds: these wounds are normally known as cuts, and characterised by the clean separation of the edges. These wounds are usually caused by a knife, a piece of broken glass or the edge of a tin can. They usually bleed, as the object that has penetrated the skin opens up the blood vessels there.

One of the problems that may arise in this type of wound is that they may affect other structures besides the skin, such as tendons, muscles or nerves.

The second type of wound is the one caused by sharp objects, i.e., penetrating wounds. These are wounds that cannot be seen properly, as from the outside, they are too small to enable to see how deep they are. They can be especially dangerous, depending on the area in which they occur, for example, the thorax or abdomen, as there may be injury to important internal organs, such as the heart, the intestine, the liver, etc.

Contusive wounds are caused by the impact of a blunt or dull object with no sharp points or cuts. The wound sometimes has irregular edges, is not very deep and part of the skin surrounding the area is usually broken.

We should also mention incisive-contusive wounds, i.e., wounds that have both these characteristics.


M. Pilar Gascón. Pharmacist.