There are many different types of wounds. Some bleed, some do not. Some are gaping, some are clean and simple.
If you have a serious wound with bleeding, a broken bone, a serious burn, a significant head injury or an injury from a fall, call an ambulance on triple zero (000).
Wounds can be caused by an injury, or by an infection, or by chronic illnesses.
Some people are more prone to wounds than others. Very active people get injured more often than others, and people with diabetes tend to get infections from wounds more easily than others.
You can look after most wounds yourself, by keeping them clean and preventing infection. Most wounds will heal themselves.
But you should see a doctor if:
- the wound is deep and doesn’t stop bleeding when you apply pressure
- there is a lot of dirt or gravel in the wound
- the wound is near your eye
- you notice changes around the wound, such as spreading redness, increased pain, tenderness or swelling
- 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).
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Last reviewed: August 2019