Abrasion (medical)

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Abrasion (medical)
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 T14.0
ICD-9 919.0
Abrasion on the palm of a right hand, shortly after falling
Abrasions on elbow and lower arm. The elbow wound will produce a permanent scar.

In dermatology, an abrasion is a wound caused by superficial damage to the skin, no deeper than the epidermis. It is less severe than a laceration, and bleeding, if present, is minimal. Mild abrasions, also known as grazes or scrapes, do not scar or bleed, but deep abrasions may lead to the formation of scar tissue. A more traumatic abrasion that removes all layers of skin is called an avulsion.

Abrasion injuries most commonly occur when exposed skin comes into moving contact with a rough surface, causing a grinding or rubbing away of the upper layers of the epidermis.

By degree[edit]

  • A first-degree abrasion involves only epidermal injury.
  • A second-degree abrasion involves the epidermis as well as the dermis and may bleed slightly.
  • A third-degree abrasion involves damage to the subcutaneous layer and the skin and is often called an avulsion.

Treatment[edit]

The abrasion should be cleaned and any debris removed. A topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin or bacitracin) should be applied to prevent infection and to keep the wound moist.[1] Dressing the wound is optional[1] but helps to keep the wound from drying out which interferes with healing.[2] If the abrasion is painful, a topical analgesic (such as lidocaine or benzocaine) can be applied, but for large abrasions. a systemic analgesic may be necessary.[1] Avoid exposing abraded skin to the sun as permanent hyperpigmentation can develop.

Healing[edit]

The gallery below shows the healing process for an abrasion on the palm caused by sliding on concrete.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kidd, P. S., Sturt, P. A., & Fultz, J. (2000). Mosby's emergency nursing reference (2nd ed.). St. Louis: Mosby, Inc.
  2. ^ Abrasions: Merck Manual Online