Topic Overview

Cuts may slice off several layers of skin. As long as some of the
layers of skin are still in place, new skin will form in the bottom of the
wound and along the wound edges. The wound will heal from the bottom up.

When a cut or scrape removes all of the layers of skin (a
full-thickness avulsion injury), fat and muscle may be visible. This type of
wound will form new skin only on the edges of the wound and heals from the
edges into the middle. The larger the wound, the longer it will take to heal,
and the greater the risk of infection.

Cutting off the tip of a finger or toe are common avulsion injuries.
If this avulsion injury is larger than
0.25 in. (6.5 mm) by
0.25 in. (6.5 mm), evaluation
by a doctor is usually needed. If you are able to recover the
piece of skin that was cut off, take it with you. It will probably not be
reattached, but it will give your doctor more information about
your injury.

Avulsion injuries are usually treated in one of the following

  • Allowing the wound to heal on its own, growing
    new skin from the edges into the middle
  • Stitching the edges of the
    wound together, if the wound is small
  • Reattaching the avulsed
  • Grafting skin over the wound

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 20, 2017