What is an abrasion?
An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that you can treat at home.
When should I call my child's physician?
In general, call your child's physician for abrasions that:
- are located close to the eye or on the face
- are embedded with debris such as dirt, stones or gravel
- show signs of infection such as increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage
- cover a large area of the body (such as the chest or back or an entire limb)
How should an abrasion be treated?
- Calm your child and let him or her know you can help.
- Wash your hands well.
- Wash the abraded area well with soap and water, but do not scrub the wound.
- Remove any dirt particles from the area and let the water from the faucet run over it for several minutes. A dirty abrasion that is not well cleaned can cause scarring.
- Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
- Cover the area with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it's likely to drain onto clothing.
- Change the dressing often.
- Check the area each day and keep it clean and dry.
- Avoid blowing on the abrasion, as this can cause germs to grow.