Treating Skin Abrasions and Incised Wounds Jul 19, 2022 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team
Skin is the body's largest organ, and it's also one of the most vulnerable. That's why it's important to know how to treat abrasions and incised wounds. Abrasions are most commonly known as scrapes; whereas, incised wounds are known as cuts.
Skin AnatomyFirst, let's start with some basic skin anatomy. The skin has three main layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer), the dermis (the middle layer), and the subcutaneous tissue (the deepest layer). Minor injuries will likely only impact the outer layer of skin where the skin has been broken; whereas, incised wounds can include the deeper layers. The deeper the injury, the more serious it is.Now that we know a little bit about skin, let's talk about treating wounds.
How to Treat Abrasions: Scrapes
- Rinse the wound: Gently clean the skin with cool water. This will help to remove any dirt, debris, or foreign objects that may be embedded in the skin.
- Use antiseptic: Apply an antiseptic onto the wound. This will help to prevent infection and remove debris. Rinse the antiseptic off after about five minutes.
- Apply pressure: Using a clean non-fiber shedding material or sterile gauze, apply pressure to the wound to stop any bleeding. Don't rub or scrub the skin as this will make the injury worse.
- Cover the wound: Use a bandage or non-stick sterile dressing to keep the wound covered and protected.
- Change bandage according to package instructions. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to change the bandage anywhere from once a day to every few days.
- Repeat steps 2-5 as needed.
How to Treat Incised Wounds: Cuts
- Remove the clothing: Remove any clothing that may be blocking your view of the wound or impeding your ability to treat it.
- Apply pressure: For severe bleeding, you'll want to apply pressure directly to the wound with your hands to stop the blood flow.
- Cover the wound: Use a sterile dressing to cover the wound. Continue to apply pressure directly through the dressing.
- Raise the injury: If able, try to raise the injured area above the level of your heart.
- Don't remove dressings: If the dressings get soaked in blood, don't remove them. Instead, layer clean dressings on top of them.
- Seek medical attention: Deep cuts or wounds that won't stop bleeding will require professional medical attention. If the bleeding is constant and severe, or if you can see bone, tendon, or muscle, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.