A closed wound is one where skin is intact and underlying tissue is not exposed to the environment.

Abrasion is an erosion of skin usually due to sheering force. In most cases the dermis is intact and the injury is superficial limited to epidermis. Abrasions heal without scarring by epithelialization.

Are abrasions considered closed wounds? I would think they are open wounds as the underlying tissue (which would be dermis in this case) are exposed to the environment. Please state the reason why they are classified into whatever group.

  • $\begingroup$ I beg to differ... I have a lot scrapes that have scarred. $\endgroup$
    – L.B.
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


The definition of closed and open wounds is variable. In histopathological terms (i.e. looking under a microscope) it is usually defined that a wound where the dermis is affected is open. In this case an abrasion is an open wound. This puts it in the same class as cuts (incisional/lacerations), tears and punctures. Closed wounds on the other hand are when the dermis isn't affected, such as in a haematoma (blood collection under the skin) or crush injury (extreme force typically for a long period of time) and contusions (i.e. bruises).

Medically they may be divided by management. Where open wounds are wounds which are likely to be contaminated and need thorough cleaning and may need antibiotic cover whereas closed wounds are ones that are very unlikely to be. In this case, abrasions may be considered a relatively closed wound as not all the protective layers of the skin have been breached (the dermis is not completely breached). Thus the physical barriers are relatively intact and continue to offer us defense against bacteria and organisms.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, so as long as the skin is not breached the wound is considered closed $\endgroup$
    – One Face
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 15:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Updated the answer to include pathological definitions :) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 16:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .