Healthsheet

Abrasions

Abrasions

Abrasions are skin scrapes. Their treatment depends on how large and deep the abrasion is.

Home care

You may be prescribed an antibiotic cream or ointment to apply to the wound. This helps prevent infection. Follow instructions when using this medication.

General care

  • To care for the abrasion, do the following each day for as long as directed by your health care provider.
    • If you were given a bandage, change it once a day. If your bandage sticks to the wound, soak it in warm water until it loosens.
    • Wash the area with soap and warm water. You may do this in a sink or under a tub faucet or shower. Rinse off the soap. Then pat the area dry with a clean towel.
    • If antibiotic ointment or cream was prescribed, reapply it to the wound as directed. Cover the wound with a fresh non-stick bandage. If the bandage becomes wet or dirty, change it as soon as possible.
  • You may use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control pain unless another pain medication was prescribed. Note: If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your health care provider before using these medications. Do not use ibuprofen in children under six months of age.
  • Most skin wounds heal within ten days. But an infection may occur despite treatment. Therefore, monitor the wound for signs of infection as listed below.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your health care provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Call your health care provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 101?F (38.3?C) or higher, or as directed by your health care provider
  • Increasing pain, redness, swelling, or drainage from the wound
  • Bleeding from the wound that does not stop after a few minutes of steady, firm pressure
  • Decreased ability to move any body part near wound