Human Anatomy Wound Lab


Kayla Katounas

5th period human anatomy students

Kayla Katounas

On December 2nd, Mrs. Cash’s human anatomy class studied the integumentary system by doing a wound lab. The students created fake, but realistic, wounds on their bodies to learn about injuries to the skin.

Lab supplies

The unique human anatomy lab was done with just four simple supplies: Vaseline, toilet paper, Hershey’s cocoa powder, and red food coloring. First, they spread a thick layer of Vaseline, dyed red with food coloring, on the spot where they wanted the wound. Next, they placed a thin layer of toilet paper overtop, using the toilet paper and Vaseline to create a wound shape, pinching to create the flaps of skin along the wound. Then, they added the cocoa powder on top, which, when mixed with the red Vaseline, looked like scabbing over the injury.

Anna Von Hoene

This lab was the final activity for the human anatomy unit on the integumentary system. “The largest organ of the integumentary system is the skin. We were talking about disorders and some incidences like having wounds or burns and how it affects the different layers of the skin,” said Mrs. Cash, a human anatomy teacher here at Centreville. This is the first time the human anatomy teachers have decided to do the wound lab, but it likely won’t be the last. Mrs. Cash hopes to make adjustments to the lab to make it even better, like adding “flour or something to make [the wounds] more viable and pasty.”

While some students created their wounds on plates, many students got creative with the placement of their wounds, placing them up their arms and even on their foreheads. Mrs. Cash said that she thought the lab was fun, and “the students liked it too.” The “really fun” and “hands-on” lab, according to Anna Von Hoene, was enjoyed by many students in the class.

Trip Magwood

Part of the assignment that went with the lab asked students to make up a story about a way they could have gotten the wound they made. Trip Magwood’s wound was made to look like a gunshot, while Kye Ridgway-Davis said that his forehead wound came from “a bear attack in the middle of the night.” “You should see the bear,” Ridgway-Davis joked, “the bear had a rougher time than I did.”

When completed, the wounds were extremely gruesome-looking. Many students sent pictures of their wounds to their friends and family, receiving varying levels of shock in their reactions. Anna Von Hoene described reactions as “kinda scared and worried” by her pictures of wounds on each arm. 

The wound lab was a great, hands-on, opportunity for students to learn in class. For students interested in learning more about the human body, human anatomy is a great option for next year’s course selection. Mrs. Cash thinks that “every student should have to have it before they graduate. It’s not just learning, we actually get to interact and do labs and some fun activities, too.”