Lacerations

A laceration is a cut or tear in the skin. These types of wounds are typically superficial, although the depth can vary. Lacerations are usually caused by traumatic incidents, such as a fall, jump, or accident. Not all lacerations are visible to the naked eye. If you think you may have a laceration, contact your podiatrist ASAP.

Symptoms

  • Bleeding
  • Decreased movement
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Redness or discoloration

If you experience any of the following, seek immediate medical attention, as it indicates the presence of an infection.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Reopening wound
  • Discoloration
  • Pus or bad odor emanating from wound
  • Uncontrollable bleeding

Ways to Immediately Mitigate

It is imperative to clean the site immediately after discovering it. Maintaining a clean laceration site is important to avoid infection, and clean and dry wound dressings should be applied. If bleeding continues, apply pressure to the area. If possible, hold the affected body part above heart-level.

For diabetic patients, it is recommended to inspect your feet daily for any potential cuts or lacerations. Because diabetes is often associated with poor circulation, diagnosed patients often cannot feel small cuts in their extremities. If you find a cut, contact your podiatrist ASAP to avoid further damage or infections.

At Home Care Guidelines

IF ADVISED, use the following guidelines to practice sanitary maintenance of the laceration.

  • Wash hands before caring for site
  • Keep the wound clean and dry
  • Avoid soaking the laceration in water, unless directed to do so for cleaning (bathtubs, hot tubs, pools, lakes, etc.)
  • Follow your physician’s instructions closely and diligently

Treatment Options

Nonsurgical:

Depending on the severity of the laceration, your podiatrist could recommend one or more of the following options.

  • Antibiotic treatment (topical or oral)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Bandaging
  • Stitches
  • Tetanus shot

Surgical:

In some cases, lacerations are so deep they slice ligaments, tendons, or nerves. In situations like this, surgery may be advised.