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First Aid and Emergencies

Scrapes

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

Scrapes or abrasions happen so often that they seem unimportant. Good Home Treatment will reduce scarring and prevent infection.

Home Treatment

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  • Scrapes are usually very dirty. Remove large pieces of debris with tweezers. Then scrub vigorously with soap and water and a washcloth. The injured person will probably complain loudly, but cleaning is necessary to prevent infection and scarring. Using a water sprayer from the kitchen sink is a good way to wash a scrape.

  • Apply steady pressure with a clean bandage or cloth to stop bleeding.

  • Applying ice may help reduce swelling and bruising.

  • If the scrape is large or in an area that may be rubbed by clothing, apply an antibiotic ointment to the scrape and cover it with a non-stick (such as Telfa) bandage.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If your tetanus shots are not up to date. See Immunizations.

  • If the scrape is very large and dirty.

  • If you cannot remove dirt and debris that are embedded under the skin. They may cause permanent skin discolouration or infection if they are not removed.

  • If signs of infection develop:

    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness.

    • Heat or red streaks extending from the scrape.

    • Discharge of pus.

    • Fever of 37.8°C (100°F) or higher with no other cause.

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