Lacerations are the wounds that occur when the soft tissues such as skin and muscle have been torn open by some kind of physical force. They should be distinguished from puncture wounds, which are caused by some kind of physical object being used to penetrate into the soft tissues. Lacerations can range in size as well as severity, meaning that they can necessitate a wide range of medical treatment. For example, particularly shallow lacerations that show no signs of bleeding might not need any medical treatment at all, though the application of antibiotic ointment as well as a bandage is still recommended. In contrast, more serious lacerations will need cleaning to remove potential contaminants that can cause infections and scarring as well as sutures to hold the soft tissues together while they heal. Getting the right medical treatment for lacerations is complicated by the fact that they come in a range of forms. For example, a laceration caused by a cutting action from some sort of sharp-edged object will need different considerations than a much more irregular laceration caused by some kind of blunt trauma.
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