Acute wounds are wounds that progress through normal stages of healing within four weeks. If a wound does not progress normally through these stages, then it can be considered a chronic wound.

acute wounds graph

acute wounds skin diagram 1Flaps

Skin flaps occur either as the result of a minor trauma to the skin, resulting in layers of skin becoming separated, or as a graft used to cover a wound. Flaps are classified by the type of blood supply of the area of tissue from which the skin originates. Full-thickness skin flaps consist of subcutaneous tissue that is able to survive on its own blood supply.

Post-amputation or stumps

After amputation, treatment of the wound and residual limb will need to be focused on in order for proper healing to occur. Post-amputation wounds can easily become infected due to the risk of germs and dirt entering the bloodstream through the incision site. Infections can cause pain, fever, redness, swelling, and discharge, and can lead to further complications, including death, if not treated properly. Healing of post amputated limbs is critical in order to be able to fit the patient with a prosthesis.


Traumatic wounds are caused by some type of force and would initially require emergency procedures. These wounds are classified by type of object that caused the wound, including the following:

  • Abrasion – rough surface scrape or rub
  • Puncture – tissue has been poked by a pointed object
  • Laceration – a hard blow to the tissue resulting in a tear
  • Incision – Cut in tissue caused by a straight-edged object


burn depth classificationA burn is caused by contact of the skin to a hot substance. The majority of burns, Thermal substances cause 95%.

The following are possible causes of burns:

  • Thermal – flame, hot surfaces, hot liquids, steam, or extreme cold
  • Electrical – electric current passing through the body
  • Radiation – Radiation therapy
  • Chemical – Corrosive substances including acids and alkalis

Burns are classified based on percentage of the total body surface area involved as well as age and health of patient:

  • 1st degree burn – epidermal
  • 2nd degree burn – superficial
  • Deep 2nd degree burn – deep dermal
  • 3rd degree – full-thickness

Surgical wounds are purposeful and precise incisions by a health care professional for the purposes of either removing a skin lesion or to create a path for accessing organs, and may either be left open to heal or closed with stitches, adhesive, or staples.

A cosmetic wound is one that occurs as a result of an operation performed in order to repair or restore body parts, or to alter the appearance of a body part. For any cosmetic wound it is of the utmost importance to minimize potential for infection and reduce scarring.

post surgical wound healingInsect bites
Bites are caused by animals, insects, or humans and treatment differs depending on type of bite. If these wounds require closure, they first need to be cleaned thoroughly or to be left open for several days while antibiotics are administered. Those most at-risk of severe reactions to venom are children, older adults, and people with heart or health conditions, as these can lead to further complications and increase the severity of the venom.