Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
An abrasion is an area of skin that has been scraped during
a fall (for example, a floor burn or skinned knee).
- Cleaning the scrape
First, wash your hands. Then wash the wound vigorously
for at least 5 minutes with warm water and liquid soap.
The area will probably need to be scrubbed several times
with a wet gauze to get all the dirt out. You may have
to remove some dirt particles (for example, gravel) with
a tweezers. If there is tar in the wound, it can often
be removed by rubbing it with petroleum jelly, followed
by soap and water again. Liquid soap cuts grease better
than bar soap. Pieces of loose skin should be cut off
with sterile scissors, especially if the pieces of skin
are dirty. Rinse the wound well.
- Antibiotic ointments and dressing
Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the scrape with a
Band-Aid or gauze dressing. This is especially
important for scrapes over joints (such as the elbow,
knee, or hand) that are always being stretched.
Cracking and reopening at these sites can be prevented
with an antibiotic ointment, which keeps the crust soft.
Use bacitracin or Betadine ointment. Cleanse the area
once a day with warm water and then reapply the ointment
and dressing until the scrape is healed.
- Pain relief
Because abrasions can hurt badly, give acetaminophen or
ibuprofen as needed.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- There is any dirt or grime in the wound that you can't
- A large area of skin has been scraped off.
- The scrape looks infected (red streaks, draining pus,
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- Your child hasn't had a tetanus booster in over 10 years.
- The scrape doesn't heal in 2 weeks.
- You have other questions or concerns.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems