Since childhood days we have been getting little wounds here and there anytime, anywhere, those small wounds and scratches on skin mostly grazed by falling on roads or scrapped due to friction are called Abrasions. They do not go deeper than epidermis. Mild abrasions do not bleed but deep abrasions do. The areas of knee, elbow and ankles are more prone to abrasions as they are thinly skinned, then the thicker and more padded areas.
Mild abrasions tear the epidermis while the deeper ones hurts dermis i.e. the layer beneath the skin cells.
Types of Abrasions:-
Abrasions may be classified into following types:
- Linear Abrasions (Scratches) – caused by sharp or pointed objects like nail, knife or thorn.
- Grazed Abrasions – movement of a rough surface on a wide area of skin like getting dragged on ground, road accidents.
- Imprint Abrasions – caused by impression or rigid hard rough surface over skin without movement like of fingernail, grill, bite marks, cane furniture or mat marks.
- Friction Abrasions- caused by friction with pressure by an external thing like ligature marks around neck in hanging.
Abrasions may also be classified on the basis of degree:
- First degree abrasion – only epidermal injury.
- Second degree abrasion – epidermis as well as dermis along with slight bleeding.
- Third degree abrasion – damage to the subcutaneous layer and the skin and is called as avulsion.
Different types of abrasions get healed up in different time span. Fresh ones are bright red for 12 to 24 hrs then they dry up leaving a red scab which turn to dark brown- blackish scab in 4 to 7 days then slowly the dries scab falls and new skin is grown in that area.
First Aid treatment for abrasion:-
- As the abrasion may contain dirt particles first it needs to be cleaned with a non fibre shedding material along with an antiseptic liquid.
- Rinse the wound with water after five minutes of antiseptic cleaning.
- Don’t try to scrub out the dirt as it may further damage the area.
- Cover the cleaned area with sterile dressing or bandage.
- Change the dressing from time to time and after few days the wound can be left without it just by applying antiseptic only.
Factors influencing Healing up of abrasions:-
- General state of health.
- Young skin gets repair faster than older skin.
- Immune system of person.
- Temperature and weather conditions.
- Pre-existing medical conditions, if having some vascular disease or inherited blood disorders like haemophilia in which blood does not clots easily.
- Infection in wounds
Prevention of abrasions:-
Abrasions can be prevented by wearing protective pads or covering the skin with clothing. Though it cannot be predicted but the ones who are in sports such as cycling, skate board, running abrasions becomes less avoidable so it is advisable and better to have handy first aid for such people.
The abrasions in other parts of the body get healed up with time but if you had an abrasion in your eyes then immediate consultation with doctor is required. Abrasion in eye known as Corneal Abrasion can sometimes be serious with some infection in it and lead to condition called corneal ulcer. Anything that gets inside eye can damage the cornea be it dust particles or your own fingernail. Generally corneal abrasions too heal up quickly but if they do not it might be serious.
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