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Symptoms of cuts and grazes

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Minor cuts and grazes may bleed and feel slightly painful. The affected area will normally scab over and heal quickly. However, if the cut is near an area that is constantly moving, such as around your joints, it may take longer to heal.

Depending on how deep the cut is, and what part of your body is affected, a small scar may remain once the cut has healed.

Signs of infection

Any minor cut or graze should heal fairly quickly. However, there are signs to look out for which can mean that your cut or graze is infected. These signs may include:

  • loss of sensation (if a nerve has been cut),
  • pulsatile bleeding, where blood spurts from the wound (if an artery has been severed),
  • swelling of the affected area,
  • pus forming in, and around, the affected area,
  • redness spreading from the cut or graze (erythema),
  • increasing pain in the wound,
  • feeling generally unwell,
  • fever, and
  • swollen glands (lymph nodes).

If you have a cut or graze, and notice any of these symptoms, you should see your GP as soon as possible.

Glossary

  • Joints: Joints are the connection point between two bones that allow movement.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are medicines that can be used to treat infections caused by micro-organisms, usually bacteria or fungi. For example amoxicillin, streptomycin and erythromycin.
Medical Review: February 17, 2010

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