A laceration is a wound that is produced by the tearing of soft body tissue. This type of wound is often irregular and jagged. A laceration wound is often contaminated with bacteria and debris from whatever object caused the cut.
A puncture wound is usually caused by a sharp pointy object such as a nail, animal teeth, or a tack. This type of wound usually does not bleed excessively and can appear to close up. Puncture wounds are also prone to infection and should be treated appropriately.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.