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Do you need a doctor? Cuts and puncture wounds

Some wounds shouldn't be treated at home.

See a doctor immediately for a cut that will not stop bleeding; is deep, jagged or potentially disfiguring; might need stitches; is over a joint; might cause loss of movement or function; removes all of the layers of the skin; is from an animal or human bite; has damaged underlying joints, nerves or tendons; is over a bone that might be broken; is caused by a crushing injury; has an object embedded in it; or is caused by a metal object, says the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Puncture wounds also require an immediate doctor's visit, according to the ACEP. Germs and debris are carried deep into the tissues by a puncture wound, and antibiotics may be needed. You may also need a tetanus, or lockjaw, shot, especially if you haven't had one in the last 10 years.

Reviewed 3/20/2023

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