A wound is a traumatic injury to skin or living tissue, usually by a sharp object. Wounds may be punctures (holes) or lacerations (linear), and obviously can vary in length, depth, and severity.

Simple, superficial wounds can treated at home by cleansing the area with soap and water and applying pressure until bleeding stops. An antibacterial ointment should then be applied as well as a sterile gauze bandage to protect the area. Deep, dirty, or gaping wounds, and continued bleeding require immediate medical evaluation by a physician. In some cases, a tetanus or rabies shot may also be needed.

For more severe wounds, after cleansing with water and control of bleeding, evaluation for wound closure should be done as soon as possible (ideally within 6 hours), as the risk of infection increases the longer the skin remains open. Minor wounds can be closed with special adhesive tapes or tissue glue, deeper wounds may require sutures.

The treating physician may recommend follow-up care for suture removal or if the risk of infection is thought to be high.

Come to AFC Urgent Care Waltham for immediate evaluation and treatment of your wound or laceration. Our board-certified ER Physicians are available every day from 8am to 8pm, no appointment or referral necessary.

Feel free to register on-line before your visit and save yourself some time.