Diseases & Conditions


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Abrasion


A superficial rubbing off of the uppermost layers of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that can be treated at home. The skin may bleed or drain small amounts of pus at the time of the injury. A physician should be contacted if the abrasion is located close to the eye or on the face, if there is embedded dirt, stones, or gravel, if there are signs of infection (increased warmth, redness, swelling, or drainage), or if the abrasion covers a large area of the body (such as the chest or back or an entire limb). Treatment The abraded area should be washed well with soap and water (but not scrubbed). Any dirt should be removed by running water over the area for several minutes. A dirty abrasion that is not well cleaned can cause scarring. An antiseptic lotion or cream should be applied, and then covered with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it is likely to drain onto clothing. The dressing should be changed often and be checked each day. Blowing on the abrasion is not recommended, since this can cause germs to grow.

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