Paper and other thin materials can cut skin under certain circumstances. This can be a painful surprise to office workers.

Mechanism: the shear force exerted by the paper exceeds the ability of the skin to resist it


Risk factors for a paper cut

(1) high velocity motion of the paper

(2) older adult with friable skin

(3) long-term corticosteroid therapy

(4) failure to wear a finger cot or other skin protection


A paper cut on a finger may be painful due to the density of nociceptors there.


Infectious complications may include:

(1) infection with Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes

(2) sporotrichosis

(3) hepatitis B

(4) cellulitis or necrotizing fasciitis

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.