Scrapes and Abrasions
Scrapes or abrasions occur when one or more layers of skin are torn or scraped off. They happen so often they may seem unimportant, but they should be treated to reduce the chance of infection or scarring.
Scrapes are usually caused by falls onto the hands, knees, or elbows. This exposes millions of nerve endings, all of which carry pain impulses to the brain. Because scrapes can affect so many nerve endings, they are usually much more painful than cuts.
It is important to carefully clean scrapes to help prevent infection. Carefully remove all dirt and debris. Use soap and water or hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly scrub the wound for no less than a minute or two. If you donít wash the wound for a full minute, you are not cleaning it well enough.
Next apply direct pressure to the wound, gauze or a clean cloth to hold on the wound and stop the flow of blood, If the gauze soaked with blood, do not remove it. Instead, place another clean layer of cloth or gauze directly on top and reapply pressure. Because blood takes a while to clot, you may have to apply pressure for 5 to 10 minutes.
Raising the wound above the level of the heart will also help reduce the blood flow. Contact the doctor immediately, if the bleed does not stop.
Signs that needs more care
Signs of infection (redness, swelling, warmth and discharge).
Scrape cannot be adequately cleaned or debris may remain in the wound.
Bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes (timed with a watch or clock) of direct pressure.