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