Classification of Wounds by Morphology

Wounds may be classified according to their depth and whether underlying tissues are damaged. Partial-thickness wounds do not intrude through the dermis and can heal by regeneration; full-thickness wounds involve both the epidermis and dermis, and sometimes underlying tissues as well. They generally heal by scar formation. Wound classification by morphology is shown below:

TypeTissue CharacteristicsEtiologyPrognosis for Healing
Partial thicknessInvolves entire epidermis and portions of dermis.Friction, pressure, small cuts, minor burns.Heal within 10-18 days, epidermal element germinates and migrates up to the epithelial layer. Heals without significant scarring or functional impairment.
Deep partial thicknessInvolves entire epidermis and almost entire dermis.Friction, cuts, significant burns.Healing within 20-35 days.
Full thicknessInvolves epidermis and dermis; may extend into subcutaneous tissue. Sweat glands and hair follicles are destroyed.Severe deep cuts, surgical incisions, most chronic wounds, and third-degree burns.Heals by granulation, formation of new blood vessels, new biomaterial deposition, and new cells over many weeks. Scarring usually results.
Underlying tissue damageConsidered more extensive than full- thickness wounds. Involves subcutaneous tissue, muscle, fascia, bone, and other organs.Surgery of organs, electrical burns and certain thermal burns, such as molten metal or severe scalding, massive traumatic injury, and untreated chronic damage.May require debridement or removal of all necrotic tissue to expose viable bleeding tissue. Systemic antibiotic therapy and grafts/flap skin replacement.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC

The global wound management market is the subject of Report #S249.

The global market for surgical sealants, glues, hemostats, vascular closure devices, sutures/staples, and tapes is the subject of Report #S192.

See also the October 2015 report, “Worldwide Wound Management, Forecast to 2024:
Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets
in the Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Rest of World”, Report #S251.