What is Skin Abrasion?
Abrasion wound has usually an irregular shape and is accompanied by intense pain. Skin abrasion can be infected frequently and skin abrasion is accompanied by suppuration and a moderate inflammatory component in the adjacent skin. Depending on the accident, the abrasions may contain foreign bodies and a lot of dirt inside or around it. If lesion only affects the most superficial layers of the skin, it does not usually produce bleeding and is more difficult to be infected.
If skin abrasion is treated guickly, healing of abrasion become more effective. Generally, a small abrasion does not require any special treatment, it cures naturally. Simply clean the lesion carefully as soon as possible and allow it to dry. However, in the case of a more severe abrasion, infections delay healing time. Purulent abrasion does not heal as fast as a clean one. Therefore, it is advisable to clean the area and disinfect it with a sterile dressing, cover the wound to prevent the ingress of germs. After all, you should see your doctor. Before any abrasion, it is advisable to check if the tetanus vaccine is necessary.
If you avoid scratching abrasions, healing process will be faster and will not form scars on affected area.
What Causes Skin Abrasion?
An abrasion can be due to multiple causes since the skin is constantly in contact with hard or harmful surfaces.
Abrasions are common, for example, when children fall while they are playing. Another common cause of an abrasion is to do sport, for example: Cycling or skating where it is easy to cause an abrasion on the knee due to a fall.
Skin Abrasion Symptoms
The most frequent characteristic of an abrasion symptoms are the following:
- Secretion of serous fluid interstitial
- Appearance of a wound spot
- Demonstration of significant pain
These symptoms can be more or less pronounced depending on the severity of the injury. The depth of skin abrasion is determined by the appearance of other possible symptoms: if the wound affects only the epidermis, skin abrasion does not usually bleed and has a low risk of infection.
If the skin abrasion is deep, blood can appear in localized spots or bleed profusely. In these cases, if wound is not cleaned and treated well, germs can easily penetrate and cause serious consequences, such as ulcers.
Skin Abrasion Diagnosis
An abrasion is easy to diagnose: it can be easily seen, because the skin is only superficially injured. During the examination, it is important to determine how and when wound occurred. It is also important to determine whether it may contain foreign body inside the wound.
When a small abrasion shows signs of infection, it is important to check the person’s vaccination status. Mainly, tetanus. If necessary, a dose of the vaccine has to be given.
Skin Abrasion Treatment
Generally, no special treatment is required when it is a minor abrasion. After the accident, natural healing process immediately begins. If the wound is dirty, it should be cleaned as soon as possible with cold water and with a disinfectant. Then, wound should be let to dry in the open air. If it is not possible to be in the air (because the wound can be under the clothes), they can be covered with a bandage or dressing.
It is not advisable to apply gels or creams, except those recommended by your doctor, as they can disrupt the natural healing process.
When skin abrasion is very serious, bleeding or inflammation may require additional treatment. Serious skin abrasions should be treated by a professional. The medical treatment consists of cleaning them, ideally with a sterile sponge-brush and the application of a disinfectant. Before this cleaning, it may be necessary to take painkillers to avoid the pain that is caused by the same cleaning of the abrasion.
Then the affected area must be covered to protect it from further infection and injury. It is advisable to change the bandage or dressing periodically to make sure that the abrasion is healthy and does not worsen.
If you practice sports and you suffer from abrasion in a joint, it is advisable to rest a few days of sports activities, although this depends on the size and severity of the abrasion. It is important to ensure that the skin does not tear, otherwise the healing process slows down. It is also advisable to abstain from water sports and to wet the affected area.
Emergency Measures For Abrasions
It is very important to wear gloves to protect against a possible infection with HIV or hepatitis. First aid to treat abrasions are as follows:
- If skin abrasion is superficial, you should wash it with soap and apply a disinfectant.
- If skin abrasion is deeper and affecting the dermis, same treatment is performed and must be covered with sterile material, until the crust is generated. It is important that the wound does not come in contact with the fingers.
- If we have infection of an abrasion with signs of suppuration, it is best to go to the doctor so that doctor can evaluate the treatment.
- Do not apply creams, ointments, powders on the wound that your doctor has not recommended.
- If foreign bodies are found in the wound, it is advisable to flush abrasion with sterile serum without rubbing the wound.
- If the wound is dirty, scraping should be done by a healthcare professional.
How to Prevent Skin Abrasion
If you want to prevent abrasion, it is best to have caution: depending on the profession or the sport that you practice, you can use suitable protective clothing to avoid major injuries.
Especially, children are very exposed to such injuries when they are playing games. Proper wound care and proper vaccination can promote ‘’rapid healing of abrasion’’ and prevent complications.