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What is an abrasion?

An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that you can treat at home.

When should I call my child's physician?

In general, call your child's physician for abrasions that:

  • are located close to the eye or on the face
  • are embedded with debris such as dirt, stones or gravel
  • show signs of infection such as increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage
  • cover a large area of the body (such as the chest or back or an entire limb)

How should an abrasion be treated?

  • Calm your child and let him or her know you can help.
  • Wash your hands well.
  • Wash the abraded area well with soap and water, but do not scrub the wound.
  • Remove any dirt particles from the area and let the water from the faucet run over it for several minutes. A dirty abrasion that is not well cleaned can cause scarring.
  • Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
  • Cover the area with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it's likely to drain onto clothing.
  • Change the dressing often.
  • Check the area each day and keep it clean and dry.
  • Avoid blowing on the abrasion, as this can cause germs to grow.

Abrasions | Programs & Services