Abrasions (or gazes) are superficial wounds, where generally, only the outermost layer of the skin (the epidermis) is rubbed away. Sometimes abrasions go deeper into the skin layers (dermis).
Usually, they do not bleed very much if they are superficial, but deeper abrasions may bleed more. Abrasions on the face or head tend to bleed a lot as the blood supply is very rich here. In most cases, they will only produce a clear or pinkish fluid, which is normal. Superficial abrasions tend to be more painful than deeper ones as the nerve endings are exposed.
They are common in children, sports players, and bike riders who fall and then slide along the ground. As a result, they often have dirt or grass in them. An abrasion is sometimes called ‘road rash’.
If you or your child sustains an abrasion, you should check whether or not you (or your child) has tetanus immunity through an immunization that is less than 10 years old per the CDC.
Consulting a healthcare provider
If the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.
Products for Abrasions
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border is an easy to use, all-in-one, hospital quality dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Mepilex Border Flex (Oval)
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border Flex (Oval) is an easy to use, all-in-one, hospital quality dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Mepilex Border Lite
Nurse and Patient Preferred Brand Mepilex® Border Lite is a hospital grade, all-in-one dressing featuring Safetac® technology.
Other Wound Types
Many burns affect only the skin, and are superficial (like a sunburn). Burns that affect deeper tissue are classed as partial-thickness (wet, painful, pink or red) or full-thickness (dry, no pain, grey/brownish, may look like normal skin but without sensation) depending on the depth. All burns may be painful, and it is often the superficial and partial-thickness ones that are the most painful.
About 15% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer due to aspects of the disease. Diabetes can damage nerves (neuropathy) and is often associated with poor blood circulation in the lower legs. These may make a person with diabetes more susceptible to wounds, infection and delayed wound healing.
A skin tear usually occurs in the elderly or those with fragile skin, as a result of a bumping into something, dressing changes with inappropriate dressings, or vigorous washing and drying of the skin.
Leg ulcers are breaks in the skin (generally below the knee) that can take a long time to heal due to underlying disease. You may hear them described as ‘chronic wounds’.
A pressure injury, often known as a pressure ulcer, pressure sore or bed sore, is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused when too much pressure is placed on the affected area.
Some patients who have radiotherapy or radiation treatments may experience skin reddening and breakdown in the area. These are called radiotherapy or radiation skin reactions.
Scars are a natural part of the skin’s healing process, following a wound or injury. Scars are formed when the dermis – the deep, thick layer of skin – is damaged.
Surgical Wounds or Incisions result when you have an operation, or if you get a cut accidentally. The incision, wound or cut is closed using stitches (sutures), clips glue or tape, depending on the site and depth of the cut.
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