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Scrapes

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Home Treatment

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.

Bleeding

Stop the bleeding camera.gif with direct pressure to the wound.

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.
  • If 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 healing.

Stitches, staples, or skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches)

Determine whether your wound needs to be treated by a doctor. Scrapes usually do not need to be closed with stitches, staples, or skin adhesives, but sometimes you will have a deep cut along with a scrape.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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