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Face Laceration

Mountain biking face cuts are usually the result of a face-plant forward fall. Most commonly cut is the chin, followed by the lips, then the brow. Commonly, abrasion surrounds the burst skin.

Cuts on the face are usually caused by a blunt blow. The tissue bursts open when pinched between the bones of the face and another object (ground, elbow, toy, another child's head...). Blunt cuts tend to leave more scar than sharp ones. And who wants a scar on the face?

Typical brow laceration, with tissue bursting open in the direction of the skin wrinkle lines, resulted from a fall onto the face with a direct blow to the brow. Note the surrounding abrasion.

lacface.jpg (13705 bytes)

All cuts will scar. Whether the scar "shows" depends on the location of the cut, direction of the cut, size of the cut, and whether crushing or tearing of tissue occurred. To minimize scar, any cut on the face should be seen by the doctor. Face cuts usually heal quickly. There's much less risk of infection than for cuts elsewhere.

See the doctor for:
    ALL cuts on the face
    (unless the cut is sharp, in a non-obvious location, and you have
    treat confidence in your management skills)

This small cut on the edge of the lip is worse than it appears. As swelling sets in, the edges will spread. (You CANNOT hold the edges here with a butterfly, a Steri-Strip, or bandage.) Because it crosses the edge of the lip, the lip will "look funny" when the cut finally heals. All cuts on the face should be evaluated by your doctor.

A bump on the mouth caused this laceration. There may be a matching cut inside the lip. Dental injury is also common.

laclip.jpg (8362 bytes)

Immediate care:
Hold pressure on the cut until bleeding stops. Clean with Betadine. Go to the doctor's office or emergency room.

Watch for:  Swelling, redness, increasing tenderness, tender bumps just below the angles of the jaw.  See section on infection.

 [First Aid Index Page]