A cut refers to a wound with separation of connective tissue, usually caused by a sharp object. A laceration implies a jagged wound usually caused by blunt trauma; however, cuts and lacerations are essentially the same condition.


A cut is one of the easiest medical conditions to diagnose; as it describes an open wound in the skin. These are some of the most common injuries. The most obvious symptoms of a cut or laceration are bleeding, an obvious break or gap in the skin, and pain surrounding the injury.

Who is at risk?

Anyone is at risk for a cut or laceration.

Treatment for Cuts/Lacerations:

  • Apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding
  • Clean the wound with water
  • To prevent infection, use an antibiotic ointment
  • Bandage the wound to keep it clean and prevent it from re-opening
  • Watch for swelling and redness and other signs of infection
  • In some cases, you may want to get a tetanus booster

When should I see a doctor?

  • You should consult your physician as to whether or not a tetanus booster will be necessary.
  • If you cannot stop the bleeding from the wound, seek medical attention.
  • If the wound edges are separated and gaping.
  • If an object or debris is embedded in the cut.
  • If the wound shows signs of infection such as warmth and redness in the area.
  • If the wound was caused by a bite from a human or animal.

Treatment for cuts and lacerations is available now at Mountain Lakes Medical Center in Mountain Lakes, NJ.

For more information on cuts and lacerations, see the following websites:

Information on Wounds – Medline Plus (NIH)

Articles on Cuts, Lacerations, Abrasions, and Bruises – from NOAH (New York Online Access to Health)

Cuts, Scrapes and Stitches: Caring for Wounds – from

Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.