A scrape is an area where the skin is rubbed off. It usually occurs after you fall or hit something. A scrape is often not serious. But it can be painful and may bleed slightly.
A scrape is often dirty. Even if you do not see dirt, the scrape can get infected. Take these steps to clean the area thoroughly.
- Wash your hands.
- Then wash the scrape thoroughly with mild soap and water.
- Large pieces of dirt or debris should be removed with tweezers. Clean the tweezers with soap and water before use.
- If available, apply antibiotic ointment.
- Apply a non-stick bandage. Change the bandage once or twice a day until the scrape has healed. If the scrape is very small, or on the face or scalp, you can let it air dry.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
- The scrape has dirt and other debris deep inside.
- The scrape is very large.
- The scrape looks like it may be infected. Signs of infection include warmth or red streaks at the injured site, pus, or a fever.
- You have not had a tetanus shot within 10 years.
Simon BC, Hern HG. Wound management principles. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 52.