Skin Abrasions of the Extremities

Skin abrasions are scrapes or scratches of the superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis.
See the different layers of the skin.

skin

Abrasions are wounds or scrapes of the epidermal layer of the skin. It may be shallow involving only the outer layer of the epidermis and it may be deeper involving practically the full thickness of the epidermis.

Abrasions may involve a small area of the body or it may involve a bigger area or even an extensive area.

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Immediate treatment of abrasions, regardless of degree (shallowness and surface area), is thorough washing to remove the dirt.  Ordinary soap and water will suffice.  There may be bleeding but cleansing should be continued to wash off the dirt as well as the blood. Bleeding usually spontaneously stops.

Depending on the degree of abrasion and amount of dirt presence in the wound, antibiotics may or may not be administered.  Antibiotics are usually needed for deeper abrasions and  when there is significant contamination with dirt.

Depending on the degree of abrasion, analgesics may or may not be administered.  Small abrasions with a patient’s high threshold for pain may not need analgesics.

As to coverage of abrasions with dressing, it is better to leave the wound open. The dressing will usually stick to the wound and there will be pain on removal of the dressing. The wound will dry faster without a dressing. Just promote a clean environment on the abrasion. Wash them as often as needed.

There is usually no need to have antitetanus injection.

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ROJoson’s abrasion on the right forearm incurred on January 18, 2017 after climbing and descending on a rugged wall.

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ROJoson’s abrasion on the left forearm incurred on January 18, 2017 after climbing and descending on a rugged wall.

Note: the abrasion on the left forearm is not as extensive as that in the right forearm.

How I treated my abrasions:

  • Cleansed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • No dressing.  No antibiotics.  Took paracetamol for pain on the left forearm. No antitetanus injection.
  • Watch and wait for healing and complications.

ROJ@17jan18

 

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