Scraped skin also known as abrasion or a graze, is a common type of minor skin injury that occurs when the outermost layer of the skin is damaged or removed due to friction or rubbing against a rough surface.
Scraped skin is typically a superficial injury and doesn’t penetrate deep into the layers of skin. It can be painful but it heals relatively quickly without any medical intervention. In some cases, you might need to treat them and there are ways to speed up the process.
What Are The Causes Of Scraped Skin?
The main causes of scraped skin include-
- Falls – Tripping, slipping, or falling on a hard surface can result in scraped skin, often on the knees, palms, or elbows.
- Sports and physical activities – Engaging in sports or outdoor activities like biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading can lead to scraped skin if you have a collision or fall.
- Contact with rough surfaces – Scraped skin can occur when your skin comes into contact with rough or abrasive metals, such as gravel, concrete, and asphalt.
- Friction – Repetitive friction, such as from wearing tight shoes engaging in activities like hiking, and skin abrasions.
- Road Rash – Motorcyclists or cyclists who are involved in accidents may experience more extensive scraped skin injuries, often referred to as road rash.
Why Is It Important To Heal Scraped Skin?
Scrapped skin when not healed can lead to future complications such as
- Infection – Bacteria can enter the wound leading to an infection. Signs of infection include pain in the area, redness, swelling, and warmth around the wound. Many wounds also ooze out pus which could be serious if not taken care of.
- Delayed healing – Neglecting to clean a wound with water and protect the scraped skin especially when the wound is deeper can delay its healing. As time passes by, this could cause several problems including gangrene.
- Scarring – Inadequate care of scraped skin can lead to more noticeable scarring once it eventually heals.
- Increased pain and discomfort – Unhealed scraping wounds can lead to pinching pain that spreads all over the area. Moreover, one could also suffer from discomfort that arises due to prolonged pain and it can affect the quality of their life.
How To Heal Scraped Skin?
Healing scarped skin effectively involves several steps to clean, protect, and promote the body’s natural healing process. Here is a detailed guide on how to heal scraped skin-
- Wash your hands – Before touching the scraped area you should wash your hands properly to prevent introducing any bacteria or contaminants.
- Gather supplies – Collect the necessary supplies, including mild soap, clean water, a clean cloth or sterile gauze, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment like Neosporin, a bandage, and adhesive tape.
- Clean the wound – Firstly, you can gently rinse the area with cool, clean water. Avoid using hot water to avoid irritation. Secondly, use a mild soap around the wound to wash it. This could remove any dirt, debris, or bacteria. Avoid scrubbing the wound directly, as this can be painful and might slow the healing process. Lastly, pat the area dry with a clean, soft cloth or gauze. Do not rub it as it can damage the wound.
- Apply an antiseptic wound – Apply a thin layer of over-the-counter ointment to the scraped skin. This will help prevent infection and promote healing. However, using too much ointment can be smothering for the wound.
- Cover the wound – Place a sterile, non-sticky bandage or gauze pad over the scraped area. Cover the wound completely. If the wound is on the joint, make sure to secure it with an adhesive.
- Keep it moist – It’s generally better to keep scraped skin moist to aid in the healing process and minimize scarring. You can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly before applying the bandage to retain moisture.
- Change the dressing – Change the dressing regularly and use a painkiller if necessary.
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In most cases, properly cared for skin will heal within a week or two, with minimal scarring. However, you do have to watch out for the signs of infections. If it continues to deteriorate, it is important to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional for guidance and further treatment.