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Cuts - Check Your Symptoms

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If you have any of the following symptoms, evaluate those symptoms first.

  • Puncture wound or injury caused by the injection of a substance under high pressure into the skin: Go to the topic Puncture Wounds.
  • Injury from a bite: Go to the topic Animal and Human Bites.
  • If bleeding is the main symptom, see how to stop bleeding .
  • Most cuts that require treatment should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some cuts that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury. Your risk of infection increases the longer the cut remains open. For more information, see are stitches, staples, or skin adhesives necessary?

Is your cut bleeding?

Do you have signs of decreased blood flow at or near a cut injury?

Do you have any loss of function at or near a cut injury?

Do you have broken skin over the site of a bone that may be broken?

Are you unable to remove an object from a cut?

Do you have a deep cut?

Has a cut removed all the layers of skin (avulsion injury)?

Do you have swelling or bruising at or near a cut injury?

Do you think you have an infection?

Do you think a cut may have been caused by abuse?

Were you unable to adequately clean a cut using home treatment?

Do you have a cut that may need to have stitches, staples, or skin adhesives?

Do you know or think you need a tetanus shot?

If a visit to a health professional is not needed immediately, see the Home Treatment section for self-care information.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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