An abrasion is a very common injury, particularly in sports. When a person falls or slides to the ground, the friction between the skin and the surface it is rubbing against causes the skin to scrape off.
The skin is made up of an outer and inner layer. The outer layer provides protection and the inner later provides the firmness and flexibility to the skin.
When an abrasion occurs, the skin layers are damaged and scrapped off. Most abrasions are fairly shallow and there will not be much bleeding because the injury has not extended into the lower layer of the skin where most of the blood vessels are located.
Even though there is a very little blood loss associated with abrasions, there can be a lot of pain involved, because the nerve endings in the skin are affected in such an injury.
When suffering an abrasion is most important to first clean the area of the skin that was affected very thoroughly. The best way to clean the wound is with mild soap, baby soap is best, and water with perhaps an antiseptic wash like hydrogen peroxide. After the cleaning, cover the abrasion with an antibiotic ointment and then a bandage or any other kind of dressing that will protect the area from getting dirty and potentially infected.
If the abrasion is more sever, meaning that if it is deeper and has affected the second layer of skin and caused considerable bleeding, it is best to consult a doctor.
This is because deep abrasions can become infected more easily. The importance of cleaning the wound well and keeping it safe from dirt and debris cannot be stressed enough, because the only complications that can result from such an injury are related solely to possible infections of the wound that can occur.
It is also important to be very gently when cleaning, and not to scrub the wound vigorously because this could lead to even more tissue damage.
One the skin is clean and dried, and then a light dressing is applied. It is better to use some kind of light semipermeable dressing in order to allow the wound to get air and breathe.
It is important to wash the wound regularly and to keep it moist because the moisture will increase the speed of recovery. As long as the abrasion is safe from infection of the recovery should not have any problems and move along fairly quickly.
The best way to prevent abrasions is to wear protective gear when playing sports in which falls and slides are possible. Things such as knee and elbow pads will be very useful in decrease abrasions suffered when falling during such an activity.