Caring for Puncture Wounds

Most puncture wounds are caused by objects such as large shards of metal or glass, nails or sharp sticks of wood. Such objects can puncture the skin, damage underlying tissue and carry bacteria deep into the tissue. To care for a puncture wound:

  • Clean the wound by soaking it for 15 minutes and scrubbing with a washcloth to remove dirt.

  • Apply antibiotic ointment, but soak the wound and reapply antibiotic ointment every 12 hours for two days.

  • See a doctor immediately if any signs of infection appear -- redness at the puncture site, swelling, tenderness near the wound or pain at the site.