Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

What causes wounds, cuts and grazes?

Wounds can be caused by something sudden, such as a cut, a burn, a fall or a bad knock. People often have a wound after surgery.

Wounds can be caused by infections, such as infections after surgery and infections in insect bites.

Wounds can be caused by being immobile, such as bed sores or pressure injuries.

Wounds can also be caused by chronic illnesses. For example, people with diabetes can get infected wounds after a knock or scratch.

The signs of a wound are:

  • a cut in the skin
  • a graze to the skin
  • redness and swelling around a mark.

But you should see a doctor if:

  • the wound is deep
  • the wound is near your eye
  • you notice changes around the wound, such as spreading redness, increased pain, tenderness or swelling
  • the redness and swelling is increasing
  • you develop a temperature
  • the wound is from a bite, whether by an animal or another human
  • the wound is contaminated with soil or saliva
  • you have diabetes.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your wound, cut or graze, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).



Last reviewed: August 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 102 results

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Cuts, grazes and bruises

Children often injure themselves during play, and older children can be injured during sporting activities. While the body is very good at healing itself, cuts and grazes usually heal more quickly if simple first aid steps are followed.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Wounds | myVMC

Wound healing usually happens automatically after simple first aid but if infections affect wounds, extra care like antibiotics might be needed.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Wounds first aid

First aid for wounds

Read more on WA Health website

Wounds

Taking care of wounds

Read more on WA Health website

Kids' Health - Topics - First aid - bleeding

If you need to give first aid to someone who is bleeding check through D.R.A.B.C.D. (see the topic "First aid - basic - what to do".)

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Cuts, grazes and bruises

Children often injure themselves during play, and older children can be injured during sporting activities. While the body is very good at healing itself, cuts and grazes usually heal more quickly if simple first aid steps are followed.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Kids' Health - Topics - Cuts and grazes

Do you ever fall over and hurt yourself? Every one does sometimes and when you are active and growing it can happen more often.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

First aid for eye injuries

Information on managing and treating eye injuries including burns, wounds, objects and smoke.

Read more on WA Health website

First aid for oral trauma (mouth and teeth injuries) in children | myVMC

Injuries to the mouth like cut lips and chipped teeth are common for toddlers. All require immediate first aid, and some an emergency dentist appointment.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

First aid and medical

Safety information that relates to medical and first aid topics.

Read more on WA Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback