Abrasions

Abrasions

Description Of The Injury: Abrasions are wounds that go no deeper than the skin layer referred to as the epidermis. Deeper wounds are referred to as lacerations, in contrast. The wounds can often be caused by falls on hard, rough surfaces like concrete. However, injuries such as rug burns or friction wounds also fall under the category of abrasions.

Injury Symptoms: With abrasions, bleeding is usually light and the wound is clearly visible on the skin as an absence of the top layer of skin and a red patch of broken skin. Some lighter abrasions may only be apparent with slight pain or redness in the affected area.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

The first step in treating an abrasion at home is to clean it with tap water and remove any foreign objects or debris such as dirt, rocks or other fibers. An antibiotic such as Neosporin should be applied soon after the injury to prevent the area from becoming infected. You do not necessarily have to dress the wound but doing so can help the area retain moisture and aid in healing.

Professional Medical Treatments:

As long as the abrasion does not become infected, professional medical treatment is not necessary. If the abrasion is especially deep and/or painful, medical treatment using systemic analgesic might be required. In the event of an infection, professional medical treatment should be sought immediately to avoid tissue damage and potentially lethal conditions.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

There are generally no exercises or physical therapy techniques required during the abrasion healing process. The skin simply needs time to heal and proper medical care for treatment to be successful. Depending on the size and depth of the abrasion, the full healing process can take up to a month to complete.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

Stretching before physical activity (10-15 minutes of light stretches) can be helpful in preventing trips or falls that are the most frequent cause of abrasions. In addition, wearing protective gear on the wrists, hand and knees during strenuous activity can prevent abrasions from occurring when trips or falls happen.

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