Minor cuts and scrapes are a part of every day life, especially for young, active children. But, during the summer months, when skin is typically more exposed, abrasions require more than just a hug and kiss from mom or dad. Typically, an abrasion is a type of wound where the first, most superficial layer of skin is scraped or rubbed off. These wounds, while superficial, need to be treated properly to fend off infection and heal quickly.Kristina Wilson, RN and Erin Palmer, RN from LDS Hospital Emergency Department share the steps to treat at home.
Abrasions can usually be safely treated at home following these four steps:
1. Assess the Wound
- For severe cases, If the wound is bleeding heavily or spurting blood and you are unable to stop the bleeding after ten minutes of direct pressure, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency department.
- Do not remove an object if it has penetrated the body, leave it in place and call 911.
- If the wound is superficial, proceed to the next step.
2. Clean the Wound
- Wash your hands before touching any open wounds.
- Clean the wound with cool to warm water with mild soap. Do not clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Gently remove any dirt, rocks or debris and try not to scrub the wound.
3. Stop Mild Bleeding
- Place sterile gauze over the wound or a clean towel and apply direct pressure with your palm. If the gauze soaks through, keep it in place and add more on top. Continue pressure for a minute or two after the bleeding stops.
4. Dressing the Wound
- Apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin or Bacitracin to the wound.
- If the wound is minor, you can leave it open to the air until healed.
- If the wound is in a place like the hands or feet, it will be more likely to get dirty and can be covered with a simple bandage.
If you do start to notice redness, drainage or increasing pain to the area seek medical advice.
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