Minor scrapes can be treated
effectively at home. Home treatment can prevent infection and promote healing.
If you do not have a high risk of infection, do not have other injuries, and
do not need a tetanus shot or an evaluation by a doctor, you can clean and bandage
a scrape at home. How a
scrape heals depends on the depth, size, and location
of the scrape.
Stop the bleeding with direct pressure to
Nonprescription products can be applied to the skin to help
stop mild bleeding of minor cuts, lacerations, or abrasions. Before you buy or
use a nonprescription product, be sure to read the label carefully and follow
the label's instructions when you apply the product.
After you have
stopped the bleeding, check your symptoms to decide if and when
you should see a doctor.
A scrape may continue to ooze small
amounts of blood for up to 24 hours and may ooze clear, yellowish, or
blood-tinged fluid for several days.
Cleaning the wound
Clean the wound as soon as
possible to reduce the chance of infection, scarring, and "tattooing." (If dirt
or other debris is not removed from a scrape, the new skin will heal over it.
The dirt can then be seen through the skin and may look like a tattoo.)
- Remove any splinters from the scrape
before you get the splinters wet.
- Use a large amount of water under moderate
pressure (faucet at least halfway open). Washing the wound will remove as much dirt, debris, and
bacteria as possible, which will reduce the risk of infection.
you have a water sprayer in your kitchen sink, try using the sprayer to wash
the wound. This usually removes most of the dirt and other objects from the
wound. Avoid getting any spray from the wound into your eyes. It may be easier
to rinse a large, dirty scrape in the shower.
- Wash the wound for 5
minutes with large amounts of clean, running water and soap. Mild dishwashing soap, such
as Ivory, works well. Some nonprescription products are available for wound
cleaning that numb the area so cleaning doesn't hurt as much. Be sure to read
the product label for correct use.
- Scrub gently with a washcloth.
Moderate scrubbing may be needed if the wound is very dirty. Scrubbing your
scrape will probably hurt and may increase bleeding, but it is necessary to
clean the wound thoroughly.
- Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen
peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome, which can harm the tissue and slow