Men's Articles

Scrapes And Cuts

A skin abrasion is scraped skin or mucous membrane. An abrasion is usually a minor injury, but it can be serious if it covers a large area or if foreign materials become imbedded in it. Signs and symptoms include skin that looks scraped or irritated; bleeding at the abrasion site; immediate pain that lasts a short time; and crusting over of the abraded area in 3-5 days.

The treatment for scrapes includes washing the abraded area (scrubbing with a soft brush, if possible) with plain soap and water as soon as possible. For an irritation, cover with gauze or moleskin to protect the area from further abrasion. If foreign material is imbedded or the wound is too painful to cleanse thoroughly, seek medical attention. Wash the scrape every day.

If it becomes crusty or starts oozing, soak it in warm water with a little dish washing detergent. Cover lightly with a bandage during the day but leave it open at night to air. The use of antibiotics may be necessary if it becomes infected. The abrasion wound will heal in about 3-10 days, depending on its location. A skin laceration is a skin cut that has sharp or ragged edges.

Signs and symptoms include cuts of any type in the skin; pain at the lacerated site; bleeding (especially heavy in lacerations of the scalp and forehead); and swelling, redness and tenderness around the laceration. Treatment includes emergency first aid if brisk bleeding is present: cover the injured area with a cloth or your bare hands and apply strong pressure directly to the laceration while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

If brisk bleeding is not present, clean the wound carefully with soap and water and transport to a doctor's office or emergency room where the laceration may be sutured. In either case, follow the doctor's instructions for self-care after treatment. Lacerations usually heal in about 2 weeks if they are sutured properly and do not become infected. Sutures are usually removed in about 10 days. You may experience discomfort as the wound swells in the 6-20 hours after injury.


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