Wounds and bruises are both injuries. However, they differ widely in terms of the causing factors, the nature of the injury, the pain they cause and the kind of treatment they require.
The following are a few of the myriad ways in which the two injuries differ from each other:
- A wound causes quick damage - the skin tissue is cut or punctured while a bruise (also called a closed wound) is where the skin is not torn.
- A wound is usually caused by a sharp object but bruises are the results of blunt force or trauma.
- A wound almost certainly bleeds due to ruptured tissue and blood vessels. Blunt injury also damages the blood capillaries of the skin and causes blood to accumulate under the skin tissue, creating a dark patch of skin. Blood vessels can also break due to lifting of heavy objects or overexertion of muscles.
- A wound carries the risk of infection because the skin is open but a bruise does not get infected.
- A wound has a burning or stinging sensation but a bruise is characterized by swelling and a blunt throbbing pain.
- A wound can be healed by antiseptic and antibiotic medication. Large wounds need to be closed by stitching them up to avoid severe infection. On the other hand, a bruise usually heals by itself. A cold compress and pain killers may be used to ease discomfort. Heat can be applied to the injured spot to normalize the blood flow and dissolve the blood clot.
- A wound can lead to complications like bacterial infections or the healing might be delayed by chronic diseases like diabetes. In case of a bruise, it usually does not cause complications but if there's a blunt injury to sensitive areas like the head, the tailbone or the eyes, medical attention is advised.
- Wounds and bruises can also be differentiated on the basis of their subtypes.
The different types of wounds are:
- Incision (sharp objects cutting the dermis layer of skin)
- Abrasion (the epithelial tissue is scraped off)
- Avulsion (a body structure is torn off)
- Penetration (a sharp object causes an entry and an exit wound)
- Puncture (only an entry wound caused by a sharp object)
The different types of bruises are:
- Hematoma (blood pools under the skin)
- Purpura (tiny spots of blood on the inside of the mouth)
- Contusion (similar to hematoma and caused by external trauma)
- Crush injury (caused due to a large amount of force on the body part for a long time)
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