What Is a Closed Wound and How Does it Heal

What is a closed wound? You need to understand the difference between an open wound and a closed wound in order to treat them properly. Closed wounds range from bruises or hematomas to crushing injuries. Different types of closed wounds all have one thing in common: the skin remains intact and is not broken. Since the skin is not broken, the risk of infection is lower than it is for an open wound.

Closed wounds typically are caused by a blunt impact, which ruptures a blood vessel or capillary under the skin. The blood pools out, but typically stops bleeding within about 30 seconds after the injury occurs. As the body reabsorbs the blood, the skin will discolor changing from black and blue to green then yellow before it eventually fades away completely once the closed wound has healed. 

Because of the reduced risk of complications, closed wounds are often easily treated at home. Like open wounds, bleeding can be reduced through applied direct pressure, preferably with ice, which slows both bleeding and swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Cover the ice with a cloth to protect the skin. Ice exposure can cause skin or tissue damage, creating a greater problem. Cold compresses should be applied for approximately 20 minutes.

Elevating the body part with the closed wound higher than the heart can also help to reduce bleeding and swelling, which will in turn help to expedite healing. Have the injured person lie down or sit down in order to achieve a comfortable position that will allow the injured body part to be elevated above the heart.

For preventative measure, it is always good to eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, which helps to promote healthy blood clotting. If the bruise does not appear to be healing within a few weeks, consult with your physician.

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