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What causes wounds, cuts and grazes?

2-minute read

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
  • you’re not sure whether you’re up to date with your tetanus shots

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).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2019


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