Damage to the degloved face: causes, types, diagnosis, and treatment

Degloving is a dangerous injury in which the top layers of your skin and tissue tear away from the underlying muscle, connective tissue, or bone. Degloving injuries are usually lethal. If you have Degloving injuries, you may require antibiotics.

Degloving: An Overview

The separation of your skin and surrounding tissue from the underlying bone, muscle, or connective tissue can result in avulsions, often referred to as degloving, which are potentially catastrophic injuries. Any part of the body may be impacted, however the legs are the most frequently affected. A deadly wound almost always results in death. There has been a significant loss of tissue and blood.

What are the causes of Degloved face injuries?

Degloved face injuries are typically associated with industrial or farm equipment accidents, although there are a variety of other possible causes, such as:

  • Motorcycle mishaps
  • Car mishaps
  • Mishaps in sports
  • Bites from animals
  • Falls from great heights
  • Construction mishaps

2 types of degloved face injuries

  1. Open Degloving injury

The skin and tissue are peeled away, revealing the muscles and bones beneath; but, in certain cases, the skin may remain partially linked and hanging as a flap around the incision.

The legs, torso, scalp, and face are the most often afflicted areas.

They are commonly caused by:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Industrial or agriculture equipment accidents
  • Falls from Great Heights
  • Sporting injuries
  • animal bites

According to Trusted Source, open degloved face injuries are most common in the following locations:

  • legs
  • torso
  • scalp
  • face

They can, however, affect any area of the body, including the fingers, arms, and feet.

The consequences of open Degloving are severe. They need medical care as away to minimize infection and limit blood loss.

  1. Closed Degloving injury

Despite being separated from the tissue underneath it, the top layer of skin remains intact.

Morel-Lavallee lesions are caused by a force that separates the topmost layer of skin and tissue from the underlying tissues, resulting in a hole beneath the skin that can fill with fat, blood, and lymph fluid.

The greater trochanter, which is the region surrounding the top of the hip bone, as well as the knees, lower spine, shoulder blades, chest, and buttocks, is commonly affected.

Common regions include the following:

  • torso
  • buttocks
  • lower back
  • the shoulder blades
  • knees

The majority of doctors utilize an MRI scan to evaluate closed Degloving injuries, which can reveal Morel-Lavallée lesions.

How to diagnose degloved face injuries

A careful medical examination and history of harm will help a doctor discover degloved face injuries. They may direct investigations to determine the extent of the injury. Determining the severity of a Degloving injury is difficult since visually examining the degloved face skin may not reveal the full extent of the injury.

Furthermore, determining skin viability is difficult when subjective parameters such as bleeding, skin color, temperature, and pressure reaction are used.

Open Degloving injuries are easier to diagnose than closed Degloving injuries because muscle and bone may be seen where the skin has been pushed away.

It is possible that the top layer of skin has separated from deeper layers of tissues.

How is it treated?

Degloved face injuries are treated according on the kind, severity, and location of the injury. They are also commonly accompanied by more serious injuries, such as broken bones, that need rapid medical treatment.

The availability of contemporary trauma therapy is another factor to consider. Some emergency rooms may not be able to perform complex skin repairs. 

  1. Open Degloving 

The severity of open Degloving injuries, as well as hospital resources, influence treatment. Some emergency rooms are not equipped to handle complex skin repairs. You may need to be evacuated to a nearby trauma center for additional treatment.

Treatment procedures differ based on the amount of skin that remains and the sort of injury.

  • skin reattachment
  • Using skin from different regions of the body for skin transplants
  • reattachment of a toe or finger
  • amputation

Many procedures are often required for all of these strategies. You may need to stay in the hospital for many days or weeks, depending on how serious your injuries are. Physical therapy can also be necessary for you to restore use of the injured body component.

A thorough cleaning and bandaging may be the course of treatment for a minor Degloving injury in some circumstances.

  1. Closed Degloving

The severity of the injury also has an impact on how closed Degloving injuries are treated. Compression bandages, physical therapy, and rest may be sufficient for minor injuries.

Treatment options for more severe cases include:

  • eliminating any fluid that has collected in the lesion
  • removing dead tissue
  • Sclerotherapy is a treatment that includes injecting medicines into blood vessels to force them to shrink.

Are there any complications?

In addition to being lethal on their own, Degloving injuries sometimes entail deep wounds that are easily infected. Seek immediate medical attention so that the wound may be fully cleansed, reducing your risk. While you recover, notify your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • crimson borders surrounding the wound
  • Enlargement of the wound
  • oozing from the incision, especially if it is yellow or smells bad
  • fever
  • body ache
  • Untreated closed degloved face injuries have the potential to cause significant tissue death.


Degloved face

Degloving injuries often affect the extremities and limbs, and are commonly accompanied with underlying fractures. Any injury that causes degloving of the head or body is likely to be fatal. Controlled face degloving, on the other hand, is frequently used in plastic surgery.

Degloving injuries almost always necessitate substantial surgical operations. Replantation or revascularization of the degloved face skins, or, if these are not possible, skin grafts or skin flaps, are treatment possibilities. While preserving the extremities and limbs is usually desirable, amputations may be suggested or needed in specific instances. Post-operative physiotherapy is very important for treating hand injuries.


Degloved face injuries are dangerous and occasionally fatal. Infection prevention requires early treatment. A protracted hospital stay and several operations are often part of the treatment, which is followed by several months of physical therapy.


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