Pronounced: Lass-er-ae-shun repairEn Español (Spanish Version)
A laceration is a tear or cut in the skin, tissue, and/or muscle. They can vary in length, depth, and width. A laceration repair is the act of cleaning, preparing, and closing the wound.
Laceration Wound of the Hand
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Lacerations that are shallow, small, not bleeding, and clean may not need medical care. Antibiotic ointment and a bandage may be all that is needed.
Lacerations may need medical repair if it has:
- Exposed muscle, fat, tendon, or bone
- Dirt and debris in the wound, may remain even after cleaning
- Feeling as if something is in the laceration, even if you cannot see any debris
- Bleeding continues after applying direct pressure for 10-15 minutes
- Jagged or uneven edges
- Depth more than 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep
- Location on area of high stress (joints, hands, feet, chest)
Wounds may also need medical care if there is risk of tetanus. This is a bacterial infection from dirt, dust or feces. Factors that increase your risk of tetanus include a deep wound or contamination with dirt, saliva, or feces.
Medical care may also be used if there is a worry about scarring.
Note: If you are not sure if a laceration wound needs to be repaired, go to the hospital.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.