Open Wounds: Types, Treatments, and Complications

open wound care

Open wounds are common in our lives, whether they result from accidents, injuries, infections, aging or surgical procedures. 

While the body has remarkable abilities to heal itself, it’s essential to understand the different types of open wound, how to properly care for them, and the potential complications that can arise if not managed effectively. 

In this article, we will explore the world of open wounds, their various forms, the treatments available, and the importance of vigilant open wound care to ensure a smooth healing process.

What is an Open Wound?

An open wound is an internal or external injury to the body where the skin or tissue has been damaged or broken.

Open wounds can result from various causes, including accidents, cuts, punctures, abrasions, burns, and surgical incisions. These wounds can range from minor scrapes and scratches to more significant injuries requiring immediate medicare care.

What are the Different Types of Traumatic/Open Wounds?

Open wounds come in various types, each with its characteristics and potential complications. 

Here are different types of traumatic/open wounds:

  • Abrasion: An abrasion occurs when the skin is scraped or rubbed against a rough or hard surface, like a road rash or a scraped knee. Bleeding is typically minimal, and it’s crucial to clean the wound and remove debris to prevent infection.


  • Laceration: A laceration is a deep skin cut or tear frequently caused by accidents involving knives, tools, or machinery. Lacerations often result in significant bleeding.


  • Puncture: Puncture wounds are small holes caused by sharp, pointed objects like nails or needles. While punctures may not bleed much, they can be deep enough to damage internal organs.


  • Avulsion: Avulsions involve forcefully tearing away both skin and underlying tissue. They usually occur during violent accidents such as body-crushing incidents, explosions, or gunshots and tend to bleed heavily and rapidly.


  • Incision: An incision is a clean, straight cut in the skin. Accidents involving sharp objects like knives, razor blades, or broken glass can lead to incisions, typically resulting in heavy and rapid bleeding.


The type of open wound and its severity will determine the appropriate treatment and care. 

Often, it is essential to seek medical attention to assess the wound’s depth, clean it properly, and determine if stitches, staples, or other interventions are necessary to facilitate healing and minimise the risk of complications like infection or scarring.

How are Open Wounds Treated?

Minor or acute open wounds may not necessitate medical treatment. People can treat these types of wounds at home.

However, severe open wounds involving significant bleeding require immediate medical attention.

Medical Treatments

Doctors use various techniques to treat open wounds. 

  • After cleaning and numbing the area, they may close the wound with skin glue, sutures, or stitches. If it’s a puncture wound, a tetanus shot may be administered.

  • Depending on the wound’s location and infection risk, some wounds are left to heal naturally, called secondary intention healing. This might involve packing the wound with gauze to prevent infection.

  • Pain medication may be prescribed, and antibiotics might be necessary for existing or potential infections. Surgery may be required in some cases.

  • If a body part is severed, keep it moist in gauze and ice for possible reattachment at the hospital.

  • After treatment, you’ll have bandages and dressings. Always change them on a clean surface, disinfect and dry the wound, and dispose of old dressings in plastic bags.

Seeking medical attention for severe or infected wounds is crucial for proper open wound healing and to reduce the risk of complications.

Home Care for Minor Wounds

  • Wash and disinfect the wound to remove any dirt and debris. Use direct pressure and elevation techniques to control bleeding and swelling.
  • When wrapping the wound, ensure to use a sterile dressing or bandage. In the case of very minor wounds, they may heal without the need for a bandage.
  • Keep the wound dry and clean for five days. You should also get plenty of rest.
  • Pain typically accompanies a wound. You can take pain medications as directed.
  • Apply ice if you have swelling, and avoid picking at scabs. 
  • When spending time outdoors, use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on the area until it’s completely healed.

Note- Remember that these guidelines are suitable for minor open wound treatment. For deeper, more significant, or more severe wounds, seeking professional medical evaluation and treatment is crucial.

Are There Any Complications from Having an Open Wound?

There can be various complications associated with open wounds, depending on factors such as the type of wound, its location, cleanliness, and how well it’s managed. Some potential complications include:

InfectionBleedingGreen, yellow or brown pus
Worsening painFeverDelayed healing
Pus with a foul odourRednessSwelling

Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial for deep wounds or those displaying signs of complications. Proper wound care, including cleaning, dressing changes, and monitoring for infection, can help minimise the risk of complications and promote optimal healing.

Contact Prof Dr Robert Hierner for Open Wound Treatment

In seeking treatment for open wounds, contacting Prof Dr Robert Hierner is a prudent choice.

With over 30 years of experience in wound management, Prof. Dr. Robert is an assurance of top-tier care and successful outcomes. His commitment to patient well-being and cutting-edge medical knowledge ensure that individuals receive the best possible treatment. 

Don’t hesitate to contact Prof Dr Robert Hierner for comprehensive and effective open wound treatment.