Orange County, CA Puncture Wound Treatment

What Are Puncture Wounds?

puncture wounds

Puncture wounds happen when a sharp, pointed item penetrates the skin. These injuries are usually deep with a slender or small opening, as opposed to a scrape, which is considered a superficial or surface wound. People get puncture wounds doing housework like cooking or cleaning or using household gadgets. Puncture wounds can also be caused from car accidents, broken glass or being stabbed with a knife or other sharp object. Many times, this type of wound is minor and can be fixed with at-home treatments – but they can become infected very easily. It is important to monitor puncture wounds to ensure they are healing properly. If you think your puncture wound is serious, you should see a doctor immediately.

Get help from a doctor if:

  • The wound won’t stop bleeding
  • The wound is deep – especially to the head, neck, chest, abdomen
  • The wound is dirty
  • You were bitten (by an animal or human) 
  • You stepped on a dirty nail (or other metal) 

In the case of deep, dirty puncture wounds: if it’s been five or more years since you’ve had a tetanus shot, you may need a booster shot (within 48 hours of the puncture.) 

In the case of a wild animal bite, talk to your doctor about which animals carry rabies. 

How To Treat A Puncture Wound

Here are the steps for treating a puncture wound at home:

  1. Clean your hands to stop the spread of germs and prevent infection. 
  2. Gently press on the wound with a clean cloth or bandage to help stop the bleeding
  3. Use clean water to get dirt and debris out of the wound. This should take about 5 or 10 minutes – but if you can’t get all of the debris out, you should call your doctor because this can lead to infection. 
  4. Put on an antibiotic ointment – we recommend Neosporin. Then, for the next couple of days, whenever you change the bandages, reapply the ointment. 

*If you get a rash from the ointment, discontinue use. This doesn’t happen in all cases, but rashes do happen to a small percentage of people. 

  1. Keep the wound covered with a bandaid. 
  2. Treat pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 

*If you have medical problems, allergies, or take other medications, consult your doctor first.  

  1. When the bandage gets wet or dirty, change it. Change it at least once every day. 

Look out for infection and call your doctor if you suspect one. Signs of infection are pus, swelling, fever, pain, and redness.

How To Clean A Puncture Wound

Properly cleaning your puncture wound is incredibly important because this type of wound can become infected easily. For the first day or two it is important to keep the wound dry. You should clean the wound and change the bandage at least once everyday – two times a day is optimum. When you go to apply an ointment or salve to your wound, neosporin is preferable over alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. 

Steps to take to properly clean a puncture wound:

  1. Take a few minutes to rinse the wound beneath running water. Don’t submerge your wound in the water – just rinse. 
  2. Use a mild soap to clean the wound and then rinse again. 
  3. Pat the wound dry 
  4. Put on some antibiotic ointment. 
  5. Apply a clean bandage. (This will keep out dirt and debris; and protect you from injuring yourself further.)

How Long Does It Take A Puncture Wound To Heal?

After you’ve properly cleaned and treated your puncture wound, you’ll want to make sure it’s healing properly. 

Signs your wound is healing the way it should: 

  • scab formation
  • initial swelling
  • new tissue growth 
  • scar formation


Let’s discuss each of these in more depth: 

scab wound

Scab formation

Scab formation is considered the third phase of wound healing for cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds. The first stage is bleeding, then clotting, then finally scab formation. If your wound keeps bleeding and bleeding without a scab beginning to form, this means you should contact your doctor. Keep in mind, more problematic wounds will face longer healing time ie) it will take longer for the scab to form.

Initial swelling

Swelling means that your immune system is working to heal your wound. You may experience redness or tenderness and both are normal. If swelling lasts for more than a week you should call your doctor.

New Tissue Growth

Once your body is finished with swelling, new skin tissue will begin to form over the wound. This process can last two or three weeks but if a cut is deep or more severe, healing time will be longer.

Call To Schedule Your Wound Treatment

Choose Wound Care OC For Puncture Wound Treatment

In Orange County, Wound Care OC is the preeminent source for the very best professionals and resources for treating puncture wounds and others types of wounds including diabetic ulcers, pressure wounds, bedsore wounds, burns, C-section wounds, post-surgical wounds, and more. Regardless of how your puncture has occured or how advanced it is, we can get you moving toward the best possible outcome. We have helped many patients to a complete recovery from this difficult health challenge, and have the confidence to guide you as well. Call our office today, and we can schedule you for an initial evaluation. You will be glad you did.

Wound care specialist Dr. Faried Banimahd

Working Hours

Orange County


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