An abrasion is a superficial damage to the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis. It may cause slight bleeding. In general, abrasions do not leave a scar but deep abrasions could cause tissue scarring. Usually, abrasion injuries happen as a result of skin coming in contact (as in scraping) with a rough surface.
Grazed skin that appears pinkish or reddish that may or may not bleed. Some part of the 2nd layer of skin may be exposed.
Falls, Sports, Accidents
Abrasions could be caused due to innumerable reasons.
Some of the common causes are -
Falls - Young kids are often victims of this. A scraped knee is an excellent example of a common skin abrasion.
Sports - Sportsmen also are likely to get abrasions.
Accidents - Accidental falls etc can often result in abrasions.
Cleaning an Abrasion
Treating an abrasion
Cleaning the wound and keeping it infection-free is very important. The common norm to treat an abrasion is to clean the wound using mild soap and water and further with the help of an antiseptic wash. This is followed by covering the wound using an antibiotic ointment and a dry dressing. This is thought to help the skin in healing itself.
Cleaning an abrasion
While a serious or deeper-than-normal abrasion needs to be cleaned and treated by a physician, mild scraping of skin can be easily handled by oneself. Cleaning an abrasion is the foremost step towards avoiding infection and speeding up healing. Any dirt or debris needs to be carefully removed. You may use water or any antiseptic solution to do the same. If required you can use a piece of clean gauze to gently scrub the area clean thoroughly. Dress the wound using sterile gauze, cotton and an antibiotic cream or powder. This dressing needs to be changed often, daily at least to quicken the healing process.
Avoiding infection due to abrasions
There is chance of contracting the nasty tetanus infection whenever the skin/flesh is exposed as in case of abrasions. Make sure you take your tetanus injection, in case your last booster was before 10 years. This is extremely important in avoiding infection that can cause further complications.
In case of deeper abrasions, also known as “lacerations”, you need to check for deeper cuts that may require stitches to help heal the tissue properly.
Natural Remedies for Abrasion
Aloe is soothing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It helps in healing all kinds of wounds including abrasions. Use the pure gel for topical application.
Calendula is anti-inflammatory, astringent and antiseptic. Calendula promotes new skin growth and stops bleeding.
A few drops of lavender oil is said to help in healing abrasions.
The affected area can be disinfected using thyme tea or with a cup of water containing 3-5 drops of the essential oil.
Home made salves and ointments made with tea tree, calendula and comfrey are effective in treating abrasions.
A proper nutrient rich diet
Have a balanced meal that provides the body with all nutrients. A proper nutrient-rich diet hastens the healing up process of the skin.
Avoid smoking, consuming alcohol and certain drugs (check with your doctor regarding this).
Keep first aid supplies
Wear protective pads on areas that tend to get abrasions, such as for sportsmen.
Keeping first aid supplies handy is a good idea.