About Cuts And Scrapes: How are scrapes treated?

Scrapes, unlike cuts, don't go down deep - but they're still painful because they can cover a large sensitive area of skin. The most important part about treating a scrape is cleansing. For simple scrapes,

  • Cleanse the scrape with sodium chloride (salt) 0.9% and sterile water. If this is not available, use a mild soap and water to cleanse.
  • Cover the scrape moist bandage or dressing.

If there's debris inside the scrape (like gravel or glass) that you can't get out, you should have it checked by a doctor and cleaned properly.

Scrapes should be cleaned regularly while they're healing to keep the scab from getting too hard. A thick, hard scab can result in a more obvious scar. You may want to use an antibiotic ointment, usually available without a prescription, while the scrape is healing. Some bandages are now sold with antibiotic padding too. If you want to cover the scrape, some commercial gauzes are available that are coated to keep them from sticking to the wound. This makes taking the dressing off a lot easier, leaving the scab intact.

Learn more about First Aid