Wounds are quite simply an attack made on the skin when it has been exposed to a trauma of some kind – they might be caused by cuts, scrapes, a blister, a bite, a burn, a rash, a sore, a scratch, a tear, a gouge or a more serious laceration, abrasion or injury.
A minor wound typically does not need medical treatment as long as it is small and sufficiently clean or can be cleaned – and as long as there is no allergy involved.
Types of minor wounds and burns
- Grazes and abrasions consist of scrapes on the surface of the skin in which the top layer of skin (the epidermis) is removed or damaged.
- Blisters and sores can result from friction between the two top layers of the skin or from burns or other external factors.
- Minor lacerations or contusion wounds generally have irregular edges involving slightly deeper skin damage or bruising.
- Bites and stings can be of concern as bacteria from the mouth, especially of a human or animal, can invade the wound increasing the risk of tetanus and infection.
- Minor cuts or incisive wounds, such as a paper cut, or a minor cut in the kitchen while slicing, involving a separation of the edges of the skin which usually has clean edges.
- Sunburn and mild household burns which only affect the top of the skin – unless particularly severe.
It is important to be aware that even very minor wounds and burns, including those that cause no pain or aggravation, infections can set in and can lead to ongoing problems or even major damage. Snorkelling scrapes caused by coral, for example, may produce minor damage as can bites and stings, but are particularly prone to ongoing infection causing pain and discomfort.