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    Puncture Wounds: Stitches, Staples, and Skin Adhesives - Topic Overview

    Puncture wounds are less likely than cuts to be stitched, stapled, or have a skin adhesive applied because:

    • Puncture wounds tend to be smaller than cuts and usually do not heal better or scar less when stitched.
    • Puncture wounds tend to be deeper, narrower, and harder to clean than cuts. Sealing bacteria into a wound when it is stitched increases the risk of infection.
    • If a puncture wound becomes infected, the wound usually drains better and heals faster when it is not stitched.

    Puncture wounds may be stitched if the cosmetic appearance of the resulting scar will be greatly improved or if stitching is needed to restore function to an injured deep structure, such as a tendon or ligament.

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    Understanding Frostbite -- the Basics

    Frostbite refers to the freezing of body tissue (usually skin) that results when the blood vessels contract, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the affected body parts. Normal sensation is lost, and color changes also occur in these tissues. Frostbite is most likely to affect body parts that are farther away from the body core and, therefore, have less blood flow. These include your feet, toes, hands, fingers, nose, and ears. There are three degrees of cold injury: frostnip, superficial...

    Read the Understanding Frostbite -- the Basics article > >

    If you think you may need your wound closed by a health professional, see Are Stitches, Staples, or Skin Adhesives Necessary?

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    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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