Cuts are open wounds through the skin. Normally the skin is under slight, constant tension as it covers the body. A cut is a forceful injury to the skin. Many people accidentally cut themselves with household, work items, yard tools, or when operating machinery. Children often are cut during play and sports activities, or falls while riding wheeled toys, such as bikes, scooters, or skateboards. Most cuts are minor and home treatment is usually all that is needed.
Cuts can be caused by:
- Blunt objects that tear or crush the skin (lacerations). These cuts are more common over bony areas, such as a finger, hand, knee, or foot, but they can occur anywhere on the body. Blunt object injuries usually cause more swelling and tissue damage and leave jagged edges, so problems with healing may occur.
- Sharp-edged objects pressing into and slicing the skin tissue (incised wounds). Sharp object injuries are more likely to cut deeper and damage underlying tissue.
- Sharp-edged objects piercing the skin tissue (stab or puncture wounds).
- A combination of blunt and sharp forces from objects that tear, crush, and slice the skin tissue.