Advancing wound management by fostering research, education and advice

What is a Wound?

A wound is a type of injury which happens relatively quickly in which skin is torn, cut, or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.

Medical professionals classify skin wounds in several ways, such as whether they are short- or long-term, and whether they are contaminated with bacteria.

These distinctions reflect differences in the nature, cause and likely course of wound, as well as treatment decisions. Short-term, open wounds are often described in 5 categories, based on the mechanism and appearance of a skin injury.