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A skin laceration, also known as skin tear, is a type of wound where the top layer of skin (epidermis) becomes separated from the deeper skin layers (dermis). Occasionally both layers will separate causing a deeper wound.
Although anyone can get a skin laceration some groups of people are at higher risk:
Skin lacerations can vary in appearance depending on their size, depth and amount of skin that is lost. There is likely to be bleeding and some underlying structures such as fat, muscle or connective tissue may also be visible.
The main aim of the treatment is to ‘save’ as much of the damaged skin as possible and protect the surrounding skin. The clinician will try to bring the edges of the wound together as much as they can. This skin will then be secured with a dressing. The limb will be supported by dressings (i.e bandaging). The wound will then be left undisturbed for between two to seven days.
Varying factors influence healing time, and for this reason it is difficult to offer a time frame. Age, smoking, blood supply, diet, medical conditions, size and depth of wound all play a part in healing length. Each person and wound is different and is assessed and treated based on individualised wound assessments.
For further information and advice please email the Plastic Surgery team: firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: May 2021
Review Date: February 2024