A degloving injury is a type of avulsion in which an extensive section of skin is completely torn off the underlying tissue, severing its blood supply. It is named by analogy to the process of removing a glove.
Typically, degloving injuries affect the extremities and limbs; in these cases, they are frequently associated with underlying fractures. Any injury which would induce degloving of the head or torso is likely to be lethal. However, controlled facial degloving is often featured in plastic surgery.
Degloving injuries invariably require major surgical interventions. Treatment options include replantation or revascularization of the degloved skins, or when these are not possible, skin grafts or skin flaps. While the preservation of the extremities and limbs is normally preferred, in some cases amputations may be advised or required. Post-operative physiotherapy is of particular importance for degloving injuries involving the hand.
Many small mammals are able to induce degloving of their tails to escape capture; this is comparable to tail autotomy in reptiles.
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- "Guide to treatment of degloving injuries in pet rats". Ratguide.com. Retrieved 2018-03-02.