A puncture wound results when a sharp object (nail, knife, tooth) penetrates your skin and creates a small hole. And typically a shallow stab causes very little bleeding.
Treatment for a puncture wound that’s superficial and not a bite entails applying gentle pressure until bleeding subsides. Afterwards, clean your wound thoroughly, spread a thin layer of topical antibiotic over it and then cover the opening with a bandage to keep bacteria out. As your puncture heals watch for signs of infection.
An infected skin puncture usually causes symptoms of swelling, redness, warmth and discharge. If your infection is minor, continue treating your puncture with topical antibiotic ointment until symptoms subside. Should your infection persist, seek medical attention for further wound treatment.
Tetanus is a concern if dirt is on the penetrating object, e.g. a nail or wood splinter, because the bacteria that causes it is found in soil. So if the object that caused your wound is in or around dirt, it’s recommended you get a tetanus shot or booster if you haven’t had one within the last five years.
If a wild animal, including stray dogs, inflicts the puncture wound, you could be exposed to rabies. In this case, seek medical attention immediately to be evaluated for rabies vaccination treatment.