Merck Manual

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Abrasions

By

Adam J. Singer

, MD, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
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Abrasions are skin scrapes that may involve epidermis or part or all of the dermis.

Abrasions are evaluated, cleansed, and debrided similarly to lacerations. They are harder to anesthetize, however, which is particularly problematic when large amounts of dirt, stones, or glass are embedded as is frequently the case, particularly with deep, scraping wounds; a regional nerve block or procedural sedation may be needed.

Treatment

  • Cleansing

  • Antibiotics

After thoroughly removing all debris (vigorous scrubbing may be needed), antibiotic ointment (eg, bacitracin, bacitracin/neomycin/polymyxin) and a nonadherent gauze dressing that is impermeable to bacteria can be applied.

Other commercial wound dressings may be used; the goals are to keep the wound from drying out, because drying interferes with re-epithelialization, and to keep the dressing from adhering. Close observation and follow-up are necessary if defects are large, to check for purulent discharge (indicating infection) or lack of wound healing.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
BACIIM
NEO-FRADIN
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