Finger laceration (cut in the skin)

Skin | General Practice | Finger laceration (cut in the skin) (Disease)


Finger laceration is a cut on the finger. Lacerations of the finger can be simple, involving only the skin, or complex with injury to tendons, nerves and/or blood vessels. With tendon lacerations there is weakness of the finger, and with nerve damage numbness is experienced beyond the laceration.

The symptoms of a laceration include pain, bleeding, swelling, and bruising to the skin. Worsening redness, swelling, and tenderness around a laceration are signs of a skin infection, called cellulitis.

Causes and Risk factors

Lacerations are caused when an object strikes the skin and causes a wound to open. Depending on a variety of characteristics (angle, force, depth, object), some lacerations can be more serious than others, reaching as far as deep tissue and leading to serious bleeding.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Simple lacerations require only closure of the skin. More complex lacerations may require repair of tendons, or nerves. Finger lacerations should be repaired within 12 hours to prevent infection. While waiting for treatment the laceration can be cleaned with running water and covered with gauze or a clean cloth. A tetanus shot may be needed if the last shot was more than 5 years for a dirty wound or more than 10 years for a clean wound.

In the majority of cases, the treatment for a laceration includes wound irrigation, wound cleansing, and laceration repair. Additional treatment for lacerations may include a tetanus vaccine, antibiotics, and pain medications. ...