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Puncture Wound


A puncture wound

is a hole in the skin made by a sharp, pointed object.

Puncture Wound

Signs and symptoms of puncture wounds may include

a bruised or swollen area. You may have bleeding, pain, or trouble moving the affected area.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain.
  • You have numbness or tingling in the area of your wound.
  • Your wound starts bleeding and does not stop, even after you apply pressure.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have new drainage or a bad odor coming from the wound.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have increased swelling, redness, or pain.
  • You have red streaks on your skin coming from your wound.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


depends on how severe the wound is, its location, and whether other areas are affected. It may also depend on your health and the length of time you have had the wound. You may need any of the following:

  • Wound cleaning may be needed to remove dirt or debris. This will decrease the chance of infection. Before the wound is cleaned, your healthcare provider may give you medicine to numb the area and help you relax.
  • Medicine to treat pain or a bacterial infection may be given. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had the tetanus vaccine or a booster within the last 5 years. You may be given a tetanus shot, if needed.
  • Surgery may be needed if your wound needs a lot of cleaning or removal of foreign objects. Your wound may be left open until it heals, or it may be closed with stitches.

Wound care:

Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Rest your injured area as much as possible. If the puncture wound is in your leg or foot, use crutches as directed. This will help keep the weight off your injured leg or foot as it heals.
  • Elevate your injured area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Follow up with your healthcare provider in 2 to 3 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Puncture Wound (Ambulatory Care)

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