A laceration is defined as the injury to the skin and the soft tissue underneath it, which results in an irregular break in the skin appearing as a torn and ragged wound.
A laceration appears as a mild to serious breaking of the epidermis of varying size, in which the first layer of the skin is torn from small slices to deep gashes. The breaking might look like a cut, tear, or gash with edges close together or wide apart, and the laceration might hurt, bleed, bruise, or swell. The bleeding varies according to the depth and severity of the damage, going from mild cases, with a brief bleeding and minimal pain, to more severe cases, with profuse bleeding and intense pain. Bleeding might depend on the site of the laceration, as some parts of the body, like the scalp, are more prone to lose blood. Numbness and decreased movement around the area concerned can occur.
The diagnosis of a laceration is firstly performed through a complete physical examination, to evaluate the wound and understand its extent and severity. This is usually integrated with cultures of samples taken from the site of the wound and from the blood, to detect the presence of infections. If the laceration is severe, a fracture is suspected and in the presence of a foreign body, like pieces of metal, gravel and glass, is suspected, an X-ray examination should be performed.
The treatment of a laceration depends on the type, cause, and depth as well as the presence and involvement of other structures over the surface of the damaged skin. In any case, the first step is always cleaning, accomplished using different solutions like tap water and sterile saline solutions , whose main goal is to avoid and prevent infections. Follows closure, which should be done immediately with the use of clean and sterile gloves   . There are several techniques to carry out closure, which include bandages, cyanoacrylate glue, staples, and sutures, each one of them having their own advantages and disadvantages. Dressing, instead, is the last step of the treatment of laceration, as that of the other types on wound, which consists in the application of a sterile pad, whose goal is to keep the wound clean and avoid further damage. However, the effectiveness of dressing in preventing infection and improve healing itself is at the moment not supported by evidence .
The risk of getting tetanus cannot always be ruled out, especially when there are doubts about previous vaccinations or the patient received the last tetanus shot more than 5 years earlier. Tetanus infection is particularly possible when dirt or saliva are present in the laceration or for puncture wounds. In these cases, tetanus vaccination is strongly advised.
Prognosis depends on the severity of the laceration. Minimal superficial lacerations should heal completely within 2 weeks. Healing is a little bit longer with deeper lacerations or for those which occur in areas undergoing regular movements, such as knees and elbows. The situation is more difficult with the lacerations which also involve tendons, that have impaired the use of local muscles, or profuse bleeding from internal organs and blood vessels which might result in severe blood loss and possibly death. In these cases, emergency care is advised.
Bacterial infection is the most common complication of lacerations, which can impede healing and lead to life-threatening conditions. Therefore, it is important to make sure no infection has begun after the damage. Unfortunately, current laboratory-based detection of infections might be very long, taking from several hours to even several days to be completed.
A laceration occurs when an object strike the skin and opens a wound. The severity of the laceration depends on many factors, like the angle of the hit, the force with which the skin has been stricken, the depth of the wound and the nature of the object which has provoked it. Thus, some lacerations might be more serious than others, reaching deeper tissues and provoking more profuse bleeding.
No precise epidemiological data exist on the prevalence and incidence of laceration. However, it is particularly frequent among people who work with sharp instruments and objects, such as machineries equipped with saws or knifes and cutters in the kitchen used by the those working in the food industry. Furthermore, laceration is also the most common nonfatal injury among those aged between 10 to 17 .
Healing of the laceration, as well as any type of wound, begins when white blood cells arrive at the site of the damage, to clear the wound and remove debris. Then, an orchestrated cascade of biochemical pathways is set in motion to repair the damaged tissue  , in a process divided in four main stages:
It is important to notice that although wound healing is a complex process, it is also very fragile and very susceptible to interruption and failure, which might result in the formation of non-healing chronic wounds. There are several factors that foster non-healing chronic wound formation and these include diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, infections, and metabolic deficiencies . Therefore, measures to speed up wound healing are highly recommended.
Since lacerations are provoked by accidental episodes, no particular prevention plan can be recommended, apart from following general safety measures like wearing protective gloves and clothes in environments at high risk of incidents, keep clear from sharp objects and stay away from dangerous equipment and machinery.
A laceration is a tear in tissue due to blunt trauma characterized by incomplete separation of stronger tissue elements. Five types of laceration occur:
A laceration is a particular type of wound, in which the skin and the soft tissue underneath are cut in an irregular, torn and ragged breaking. Experts distinguish five subtypes of lacerations:
In these cases, the wound appears as a breaking of the epidermis in the form of a cut, tear, or gush with edges close together or wide apart and size varying according to the case. The laceration might hurt, bruise, swell, and bleed, while the bleeding degree depends on the site of laceration as well as the severity of the damage.
The diagnosis is usually performed with a complete physical examination, to understand the size and severity of the damage, together with laboratory tests and imaging studies to detect the presence of infections, foreign bodies or hidden bone fractures. The treatment of a laceration, instead, as that of any other type of wound, consists in a first cleaning of the wound, to wash away dirt and debris and avoid infections, followed by closure and finally dressing, to keep the wound clean and prevent as much as possible future complications.
The prognosis of a laceration depends on the severity of the wound itself. If the damage is minimal, the laceration usually heals within a few weeks, otherwise the healing process might take much longer than that, creating the conditions for the occurrence of future possible complications. Since lacerations are provoked by accidental episodes, no particular prevention plan can be recommended, apart from following general safety measures like wearing protective gloves and clothes in environments at high risk of incidents, keep clear from sharp objects and stay away from dangerous equipment and machinery.