WHAT ARE PUNCTURE WOUNDS?
A puncture wound is caused by stepping on a pointed foreign object. This leads to a small entry hole into the skin. These can disguise the extent of injury and can also still house the foreign body in the skin. These types of wounds are commonly seen in the foot especially during warm weather months when people go barefoot. One should seek medical attention within 24 hours as these can lead to infection if not properly treated.
A variety of foreign bodies can become embedded in a puncture wound. Commonly seen are nails, glass, toothpicks, sewing needles, insulin needles and seashells. In addition, pieces of your own skin, sock, shoe, debris, and dirt can be forced into the wound during a puncture.
Mild skin infections can occur 2-5 days after injury. This can consist of redness, drainage, increased warmth, swelling, and pain to the area. This can lead to deeper serious infection that can affect the underlying joint and bone. Other complications include painful scarring and cyst formation.
Treatment is important and includes making sure one’s tetanus vaccination is up to date along with debridement and thorough cleaning of the puncture wound. Treatment may also include removal of any embedded foreign body, antibiotics, and imaging.