Common forms of wounds

Wounds can occur in various ways and vary in seriousness. Any wound involve damage to the tissues brought about by physical ways. In the medical field, skin wounds are categorized in various ways such as whether short or long term and if contaminated by bacteria.

Close look on the common types of wounds


An abrasion occurs if the skin has been scraped off after being rubbed against rough surfaces. A skinned elbow or knee is an example of a minor, superficial abrasion.

Even though superficial, these wounds can become serious if deep or widespread such as after falling from a motorcycle or riding a bike at high speeds. The injury is also called as road burn or road rash and can be quite painful and oftentimes require skin grafts to replace the lost skin. Take note that scarring does not generally occur with the superficial types but can be extensive with the deeper types.



An abrasion occurs if the skin has been scraped off after being rubbed against rough surfaces.

These wounds refer to a clean cut caused by any sharp object such as scissors, knife or a piece of broken glass. A surgical incision is also another example.

An incision heals rapidly than the other types of wounds due to the smooth skin edges. The scarring is less extensive with the deep wounds unlike the other types of deeper skin injuries.


A laceration is an injury caused by tearing of the tissues. It requires a lot of force to cause a laceration. Due to the included strong force, other deep-seated tissues such as the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and even the internal organs are damaged as well.

These wounds frequently arise over the bony prominences such as the knees, elbows and hips. Trauma in blunt form in vehicular accidents or being struck by a hard object can cause these wounds. Since the skin edges are torn and jagged, this wound heals slowly, and scarring is expected.


An avulsion is a serious skin injury where the skin is torn from the tissues under it. The mechanism of the injury generally involves the catching of the skin on an object while the affected body part is moving.

Depending on the circumstances of the injury, the damaged skin can be sometimes reattached with surgery. If reattachment is not possible, skin grafts are used.


A puncture is caused by a sharp pointed object that penetrates the skin and underlying tissues. These wounds are generally deeper with an entrance site that is small and does not often cause significant superficial bleeding.

The external wound might close rapidly but this can lead to issues such as an walled pouch of infection. Additionally, tetanus is a concern when it comes to puncture wounds.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on the common types of wounds is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about these wounds, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.