Wound to the Skin Treatment
Treatment for a skin wound depends on the severity and location of the wound. General measures include cleaning the wound and removing any dirt or foreign material prior to closure. Additional treatment for a skin wound may include antibiotics and surgery.
Treatment for a skin wound may include:
- Wound irrigation
- Rinsing the wound
- Wound cleansing
- Wound exploration
- Wound debridement:
- Removal of dead or dirty tissue
- Removal of foreign bodies in the wound
- Laceration repair:
- Antibiotics for wounds
- May be used for bites and other contaminated wounds
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Tetanus vaccination
- Surgery for skin lacerations:
- To remove foreign bodies or repair damaged tissue.
Wound to the Skin Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a skin wound.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- Do I need medication?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?
Wound to the Skin Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a skin wound:
Wound to the Skin Tetanus
Most children born in the US have received three tetanus shots (boosters) in the past, because these boosters are part of the usual vaccination schedule. Additional tetanus boosters are given every 10 years.
Those who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:
- Those who have not had 3 tetanus boosters in the past need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have not received a tetanus booster in the past 10 years need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have dirty wounds need a tetanus booster if they have not received a booster in the past 5 years.
Dirty wounds include:
- Wounds that occur outdoors
- Wounds that contain dirt or foreign material
- Wounds caused by bites
- Tetanus booster:
- A tetanus booster stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the tetanus toxin.
- A tetanus booster may be given to those who have received 3 tetanus boosters in the past.
- The tetanus booster may be given within 72 hours after the wound occurs.
- Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG):
Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
|History||Clean, Minor Wound||Other Wounds|
|< 3 boosters||give Td||give Td + TIG|
|3 boosters||possible Td||possible Td|
Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.
Continue to Wound to the Skin Home Care
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- Hogg K, Carley S. Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Staples or sutures for repair of scalp laceration in adults. Emerg Med J. 2002 Jul;19(4):327-8. 
- Mattick A, Clegg G, Beattie T, Ahmad T. A randomised, controlled trial comparing a tissue adhesive (2-octylcyanoacrylate) with adhesive strips (Steristrips) for paediatric laceration repair. Emerg Med J. 2002 Sep;19(5):405-7. 
- Norman D. The effects of age-related skin changes on wound healing rates. J Wound Care. 2004 May;13(5):199-201. 
- O'Dell ML. Skin and wound infections: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 1998 May 15;57(10):2424-32. 
- Singer AJ, Giordano P, Fitch JL, Gulla J, Ryker D, Chale S. Evaluation of a new high-viscosity octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive for laceration repair: a randomized, clinical trial. Acad Emerg Med. 2003 Oct;10(10):1134-7. 
- Singer AJ, Quinn JV, Thode HC Jr, Hollander JE; TraumaSeal Study Group. Determinants of poor outcome after laceration and surgical incision repair. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Aug;110(2):429-35.