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An abrasion is a scrape on your skin. It happens when your skin rubs against a rough surface. Some examples of an abrasion include rug burn, a skinned elbow, or road rash. Abrasions can be many shapes and sizes. The wound may hurt, bleed, bruise, or swell.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • The bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • You cannot rinse one or more foreign objects out of your wound.
  • You have red streaks on your skin coming from your wound.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Your abrasion is red, warm, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care for your abrasion:

  • Wash your hands and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Press a clean cloth against your wound to stop any bleeding.
  • Rinse your wound with a lot of clean water. Do not use harsh soap, alcohol, or iodine solutions.
  • Use a clean, wet cloth to remove any objects, such as small pieces of rocks or dirt.
  • Rub antibiotic ointment on your wound. This may help prevent infection and help your wound heal.
  • Cover the wound with a non-stick bandage. Change the bandage daily, and if gets wet or dirty.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.