With all the punching, kicking, elbowing, kneeing, and slamming in MMA, it’s just a matter of time before you get cut. For mixed martial artists, it is very important to close all wounds properly and align all tissues correctly due to the formation of scar tissue, which is not as strong or elastic as healthy skin tissue. Reopening or reinjuring scar tissue is a concern for fighters, and it can often impact the outcome of a fight.
Depending on the type of wound and its complexity, the treatment and care will vary accordingly.
A laceration occurs when the skin develops a torn or jagged wound due to blunt trauma. Lacerations usually involve both layers of the skin and, in some cases, deep tissue. Depending on the size, depth, and location of the laceration,it can be treated by various methods. Skin bandages or steri-strip scan be used for smaller lacerations. Deeper lacerations may need skin glue or suturing.
A gash is a longer and deeper laceration. As with the laceration, the borders are irregular and the wound involves both skin layers, but a gash almost always involves deeper tissue. Bleeding is more substantial and difficult to stop, and it usually requires suturing or surgical stapling. Deeper wounds will require layered suturing to improve the healing process.
An avulsion occurs when the tissue is lacerated and removed from the body. The most common instance in MMA is the facial or scalp avulsion, because skin on the face and scalp is very vascular and thin. Avulsions are the most severe cuts and always require layered closing.
Abrasions are superficial wounds to the outer layer of the skin and are commonly called scrapes. Abrasions are not limited to cuts. Some friction burns—including mator glove burn—are also considered abrasions. Treatments for abrasions include daily cleaning with antibacterial soap and topical antibiotics
Most minor lacerations and abrasions will stop bleeding after a few minutes of direct pressure with a sterile cloth. If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding after direct pressure, it will probably need to be sutured or glued by a physician. It’s important to treat wounds properly and in a timely manner for the quickest recovery, so if you are ever in doubt about the severity of a cut, go see a physician.
In addition, antibiotic ointment and a sterile gauze bandage will help protect the wound from further infection and water loss until a scab forms.