What are Abrasions?
In essence, an abrasion is a ‘scrape’ that happens when the skin is rubbed away and can occur as a result of abrasive material (friction or chaffing from clothes or objects), falling on gravel, or ‘skinning’ areas of the body when objects brush past the body at high speed (for example twigs and branches when tumbling down a hill). Children are most at risk for abrasions – most commonly at school in the playground.
Abrasions can hurt and cause pain (usually experienced as a ‘burning’ sensation). Most abrasions will not cause excessive bleeding, but some may ‘weep’ a clear fluid. Abrasions are usually red and may be accompanied by swelling and inflammation. Abrasions can also be accompanied by cuts or bruising of tissue around and under the abrasion. Abrasions should be kept sterile until a natural scab forms over the wound to prevent any infection. Consult a doctor if you experience signs of infection.
What Causes Abrasions?
An abrasion is caused by friction or scraping (unlike cuts or lacerations caused by a sharp object that opens the connective tissues in the skin . An abrasion usually causes superficial damage to the skin, generally not deeper than the epidermis (the top layer of skin).
Help for Abrasions
Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been formulated with specific ingredients to encourage healing while helping to prevent scars and infection. Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) has been used for its ability to help keep wounds sterile and resistant to infection while soothing and comforting the skin.
Herbs such as Agrimonia eupatoria (Agrimony), Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) and Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) act as natural astringents that help to tighten and constrict tissues, lessening inflammation and helping to diminish blood loss. In addition, the natural properties of these ingredients assist with recovery and promote natural healing.
More Information for Abrasions
Tips for treating abrasions
- Be sure to clean out an abrasion by removing all debris (such as grit, dirt and sand) from the skin tissue
- You may try running tepid water over the area to remove debris
- If debris is packed in the tissue, you may need to consult a doctor for assistance
- Try to use a natural ointment that will help cleanse the site without the harsh sting of usual antiseptics
- Cover the cleaned abrasion with a non-stick sterile dressing or gauze
A Tip to help prevent abrasions
Children as well as adults should always wear the appropriate protective gear when taking part in sports or recreational hobbies such as biking or skateboarding. (Knee pads, and elbow pads, as well as protective padded clothing or a hard hat with a grid can protect from abrasions)