What are Abrasions?

The definition of abrasion is a wound caused by an injury that is not deeper than the epidermis (first layer of the skin). Basically, it is a scrape that has rubbed away the skin.

How Do Cuts and Scratches Heal?

Bleeding may occur right after the skin is rubbed away. The bursting of tiny blood vessels causes bleeding. The body will stop the bleeding by activating platelets. The platelets will then stick together to form a clot. As a result, it stops blood and other fluids from leaking out. A scab, which is a dried form of a clot, forms over the wound. Therefore, cells underneath are protected from potential bacteria entering through the wound. This allows the cells underneath to heal. White blood cells are also released and they attack any germs that might have gotten through. A new layer of skin will be formed under the scab and once the new layer has completely formed, the scab will fall off. The average time for a scab to fall off is a week or two.

Treatment for an Abrasion

To treat a bleeding wound, make sure to use a damp cloth and soap to clean the wound. It may be painful but it will help increase the speed of recovery and also prevent any viral or bacterial infections. Make sure to clean out any stones, rocks or pebbles. Infected abrasions usually need to be clean with antiseptic or would be best to consult a doctor.

Antiseptic will also help rid the abrasion of bacteria. However, it has been proven that the use of antiseptics slows down the healing process and could potentially leave a scar.

Types of Abrasions:

  • Corneal Abrasions: A cut or scratch has occurred on the cornea.
  • Dermabrasions: A procedure where the face is frozen and sanded down. New skin cells will grow in place of the old one which will produce a smoother skin appearance.
  • Abrasion Chondroplasty: The articular surface, which is where the surface of a bone meets another joint or bone, has been severely damaged. Therefore, doctors must create an abrasion on the surface of the bone. As a result, it produces a bleeding effect and a layer of scar tissue forms.
  • Microfracture: A surgical procedure where small fractures are made in the underlying bone. This results in a “super” clot forming which will then develop into new cartilage.
  • Skin Abrasions: These abrasions will be found on the skin.