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 medicine.

General care

  • To care for the abrasion, do the following each day for as long as directed by your healthcare 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 nonstick bandage. If the bandage becomes wet or dirty, change it as soon as possible.

    • Some antibiotic ointments or cream can cause an allergic reaction or dermatitis. This may cause redness, itching and or hives. If this occurs, stop using the ointment right away and wash off any remaining ointment. You may need to take some allergy medicine to relieve symptoms.

  • You may use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control pain unless another pain medicine was prescribed. Talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines if you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding. Don’t use ibuprofen in children younger than 6 months old.

  • Most skin wounds heal within 10 days. But an infection may occur even with treatment. So it’s important to watch the wound for signs of infection as listed below.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare 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 the wound

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