Degloved Face Understanding the Injury, Treatment, and Recovery

A severe injury when the skin and tissues beneath it separate from the underlying structures is called “degloving.” A degloved face is a serious traumatic injury that occurs when the skin and soft tissues of the face are forcefully separated from the underlying structures, such as muscles, bones, and blood vessels. Understanding the causes, treatment options, and recovery process is essential for medical professionals and the general public. This article will explore degloving face injuries, often resulting from high-impact accidents, industrial mishaps, or animal attacks. 

What is a degloved face?

A degloved face is a traumatic injury where the facial skin is separated from the deeper tissues, similar to removing a glove from one’s hand. This terrible accident often involves significant force, leading to extensive damage to the facial part. The injury can be partial or complete, depending on the extent of tissue loss. Numerous incidents, acts of aggression, animal attacks, burns, and contact with dangerous substances can all create a degloved face. It can result in severe bleeding, infection, tissue damage, and abnormalities. A degloved face necessitates emergency medical treatment and frequently requires difficult surgical operations to close the cut and restore the face’s look and functionality.

Causes of a Degloved Face

The primary causes of a degloved face are high-impact accidents, such as:

Road accidents: many people lost their lives in traffic accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Due to the collision’s ability to pull the skin and tissue from the bone in the face, many of these deaths suffered degloving injuries.

Industrial accidents: There is a chance that operating heavy equipment, including presses, rollers, or conveyor belts, can result in facial injuries. The skin and tissue surrounding the face may tear away if the machine grabs or pulls it.

Falling from heights: If the face strikes a hard or uneven surface after falling from a height, such as a skyscraper, bridge, or cliff, it may result in a degloved face.

Sports injuries: If a player’s face collides with a ball, a stick, a barrier, or another player participating in outdoor sports like rugby, football, hockey, or skiing, it may result in a degloved face. The collision’s power and speed have the potential to cause the skin and tissue of the face to separate.

Animal attacks: If the teeth of an animal, such as a dog, cat, or mouse, are cut into the skin and tissue and pulled away from the face, it can result in a degloved face. Additionally, the bite may result in wound infection and irritation.

Burns: Burns and irritation of the skin and tissue can result in a degloved face from exposure to fire, hot liquids, steam, or chemicals. 

Types of Faces with Degloving

There are two primary categories of degloved faces: open and closed.

Open degloving is tearing away skin and tissue from the face, leaving the muscle, bone, or cartilage in its place. The tissue and skin may be separated from the body, or they may still be joined to the face as a flap. Open degloving injuries are typically apparent and straightforward to identify.

Closed degloving: This process creates a gap beneath the skin by separating the skin and tissue from the deeper tissues. It can fill with blood, fat, and liquids. The underlying injury is invisible, even though the skin and tissue seem undamaged or damaged. Closed degloving injuries are more difficult to diagnose and may need to be found via imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment and Recovery

Treatment for a degloved face is a complex and multi-faceted process that typically involves:

Immediate Medical Attention: Quickly seek medical attention to determine the cause of the injury and care for the patient.

Surgical Intervention: Resurfacing surgery is the primary treatment approach. Surgeons will carefully reattach the skin and soft tissues to the underlying structures.

Wound Care: Careful wound management and dressing changes are essential to prevent infections and promote healing.

Pain Management: Managing pain is important during recovery, and suitable medications may be given.

Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation and physical therapy are vital in restoring facial function and movement.

Psychological Support: Dealing with such a traumatic injury can be emotionally challenging. Psychological support and counseling are essential aspects of recovery.

Problems with a Degloved Face

A degloved face can result in many issues, including:

Infection: Bacteria, fungi, or viruses can infect the wound and produce infection, fever, pus, and inflammation. Infection can also cause damage and tissue loss, slowing the healing process.

Necrosis: When there is a shortage of oxygen and blood, skin and tissue can die. Due to necrosis, the wound may become bloody, dark, and smell bad. Systemic failure can also result from necrosis that spreads to nearby tissues and organs.

Pain: Severe pain from the wound may impact the patient’s quality of life and mental well-being. In addition, pain might make it difficult to recover before you do everyday tasks.

Psychological trauma: The injury may result in sadness, anxiety, and other mental health issues. The patient may also deal with rejection, stigma, and low self-esteem as a result of the way their face looks and functions.

Preventing Facial Injuries

While some accidents are unplanned, specific preventive measures can reduce the risk of facial injuries, including:

Safety Gear: Always wear suitable security gear, such as helmets and face shields, when engaging in high-risk activities.

Road Safety: Follow traffic rules, avoid interruptions while driving, and never drink and drive.

Workplace Safety: Follow safety protocols and use protective equipment in hazardous work environments.

Animal Interaction: Exercise caution and proper handling when interacting with animals, especially large or unfamiliar ones.


What causes a degloved face?

A quick, criminal separation of the skin from the underlying tissue, such as the muscles, bones, and nerves, results in a degloved face. This can occur in a number of situations, including auto accidents, falls, and workplace mishaps. The power of the injury may cause the skin to separate from the underlying tissue, exposing delicate tissue that is subjected to infection.

Is a degloved face terrifying?

Yes, a degloved face can be really scary. There may be severe bleeding from the exposed tissue, and nerve injury may result in severe pain. It may also be difficult to move or speak since the exposed tissue may be extremely sensitive to touch.

How terrible is a degloved face?

A degloved face can cause severe pain, particularly if there is nerve damage. It might be challenging to manage the pain with medicine when it is strong and chronic. Sometimes, the pain is so bad that it causes PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

How can someone lose their glow?

Degloved people can happen for a number of reasons, including workplace accidents, car accidents, and falls. Extreme weather, animal attacks, and machine contact are among the factors that might result in degloved faces.

What is the medical treatment for degloving?

Surgeons use skin transplants, surgery, and other methods to treat degloving. The particular course of treatment will change based on how serious the injury is.


A degloved face is a life-changing and devastating injury that requires medical attention and skilled surgical treatment. The recovery process can be lengthy and emotionally challenging for the patient and their loved ones. By understanding the causes, treatment options, and preventive measures, we can work towards reducing the incidence of such traumatic injuries and promoting safer environments for everyone.


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