Open Wound Care: Types and Treatments

open wound care

An open wound breaks the skin, leaving the internal tissue exposed. Most of these may occur due to surgery, blunt trauma, or accident. Open wound care is possible at home with natural remedies or medications as this wound is fresh and hasn’t progressed to the stages of wound healing. 

Acute wounds fall into two categories; surgical wounds and accidental. And they are further divided on the state of injury or type of tissue injury. 

Types of Wounds

Wounds can either be open or closed. 

Open wounds are those with exposed underlying tissue and are bare to the outside environment.

Closed wounds occur without exposure to the underlying tissue or organs.

Acute or Chronic –this wound classification depends on the healing time. A wound may be “acute” if it heals without any complications in an expected time. At the same time, a “chronic wound” may take a long time to heal and may include some difficulties.

Open Wounds


These types of wounds occur when your skin rubs against a rough surface. Such abrasions include a road rash, scraped knee, etc. It doesn’t produce that much blood, so you can administer open wound care of this type at home. It’s critical to sanitize and clean the wound to prevent any infection. 


Unlike abrasion, laceration can cause significant bleeding. And this may occur due to sharp tools such as knives, machinery, or accidents. These can be deep open or a tear in the skin. 


Accidents involving sharp objects such as knives, broken glass, razor blades, etc., may cause incisions. And these may require urgent care treatment as they may require stitching. So this is a straight cut in the skin and can cause heavy bleeding, and sometimes it can damage the nerves or muscles. 

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A puncture wound affects the outer layers of tissue, but sometimes it can extend into the deep tissue layers. It can occur from a pointed object like a nail, needle, sharp tooth, or a gunshot, causing a small hole in the soft tissue. But if the cut is deeper than a quarter-inch, a medical caregiver will stitch it. 


An avulsion is a skin tear that may result from violent incidents such as animal attacks, car accidents, and more. They can also be traumatic injuries, and these types of wounds can be severe and extensive. 


People can handle minor or acute open wound care at home, and most of them may not require medical treatment. But severe wounds involving excess bleeding may require quick medical attention.

Home Treatment

Since anyone can experience an acute open wound in their lives, it’s prudent to learn how to treat it. 

  • The first step is to clean and disinfect the wound.
  • Stop the bleeding by using direct pressure or elevation.
  • Wrap the wound using a bandage or a sterile dressing. But if it’s abrasion, this may not require bandaging. But ensure to keep it clean and dry and try to get some rest.
  • If the patient is in pain, he can take some painkillers such as Tylenol as instructed. But should avoid aspirin as this may prolong bleeding.
  • A patient can use ice on the affected area to reduce the swelling. 

Medical Treatment

Depending on the wound, a doctor may use several open wound care treatment techniques. But the process has to start with cleaning and numbing the area. Then your doctor may close the wound by stitching it, skin glue, or suture. But not all wounds need closing, and he may leave this to heal naturally. You might also get a tetanus shot if necessary.  

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In some cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or penicillin for open wound treatment to reduce pain and prevent infections. Some patients may require surgery depending on the injury.

In Conclusion

Open wounds tend to leave the body’s tissues bare and exposed to the external environment. Most people can perform acute open wound care at home. It’s critical to follow the steps mentioned to prevent infection. However, deep laceration, severe accidents, or an infected wound requires immediate medical attention from a qualified medical expert. 

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