Damage or break in the surface of the skin is known as a wound. It can occur due to an accident or can be surgical or because of any underlying disease or skin condition. This article discusses about the types of wounds and their complications.
Types Of Wounds And Their Complications
Knowing about the types of wound and their complications can help in taking the right action, so as to prevent other problems. The types of wounds can be acute or chronic depending on the time period of its occurrence. Chronic wounds are the acute wounds that are healing at a slower rate or the wounds which heal only partially.
The main types of wounds are classified into two types.
- Open wounds
- Closed wounds
Open wounds are the ones which have an exposed body surface at the base of the wound. There are various types of open wounds.
These types of wounds are caused by penetration of a sharp object or bites or any wound which injures the tissues by piercing.
- Punctured Wounds. These are serious types of wounds caused by the instruments such as knife, needle, splinter or a nail. These objects puncture and penetrate the skin.
- Surgical Wounds. The wounds which are caused by the clean sharp objects such as a knife or a razor are known as surgical wounds. This name is also referred to the wounds seen after any kind of surgery.
- Thermal, Chemical Or Electrical Wounds And Burns. Wounds after mishandling any kind of chemical or electrical appliance come under this category. These are also referred to as burns.
- Gunshot Wounds. when an object with high velocity penetrates the body, it is referred to as penetrating wound. This wound had a separate entry and a separate exit site. These types of wounds need immediate medical attention.
- Bites and Sting. Bites from any insect or mosquito also leads to a wound. In some, the site of the wound shows swelling and infection.
Other Open Wounds
The types of wounds included in this category are those that cause injury to the outer skin and inner tissues over a larger surface and not penetrating ones.
- Abrasions. These wounds are caused by falling on a rough surface. During this injury, the upper layer of the skin is removed traumatically.
- Lacerations. These are the linear wound caused by trauma from sharp cuts to tears.
- Skin Tears. It is a wound caused by friction or a force which leads to the separation of the layers of the skin. It can be of partial or full thickness.
These types of wounds cause damage to the inner tissues but the outer skin remains intact. However, internal bleeding often results in skin discoloration, inflammation and pain.
- Contusions. These wounds are caused by pressure damage to the skin or the underlying surface.
- Blisters. These are the fluid-filled pockets formed under the skin. They occur after friction, freezing, burning, infection or a chemical burn.
- Seroma. It is a pocket of clear serous fluid which sometimes develops after surgery.
- Hematoma. It is a collection of blood outside the blood vessel under the skin. It occurs due to damage caused to the blood vessels.
- Crush injury. It is an injury which results from a prolonged compression of the body.
Complications of Wounds
Complication of wounds occur when the wound healing is affected by increasing bacterial growth in it. The signs presented by an infected wound are.
- Pain around the wound
- Fever with chills
- Presence of redness around the wound
- Draining of pus from the wound bed
- Increased swelling around the wound
- Increased odor from the wound.
- Wound enlargement
- Delayed wound healing
Other conditions which can occur as wound complications are.
- Lockjaw. The bacterial infection in the wound can lead to muscle contraction in the jaw and neck.
- Cellulitis. A skin which is not in immediate contact with the wound gets affected. This is known as cellulitis.
- Necrotizing Fasciitis. Tissue loss and sepsis caused by bacteria such as Clostridium and Streptococci are known as necrotizing fasciitis. It is a severe soft tissue infection.
Most of the wounds can be healed by taking care at home. Some may require a doctor’s attention and prescription to hasten the healing process. By knowing the type of wounds and their complications, it is possible to take proper care and seek timely medical advice.
Quick action should be taken in the serious open wounds to avoid the complications.