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What is Abrasion?

MVSAT 2024

Abrasion terms damage in the epidermis of the skin. The abrasion injury is mainly caused due to friction against a rough surface. This results in removing the layer of skin. The abrasion wound may cause swollen, severe pain and sometimes it may lead to infection. But, the simple abrasion can be easily treated. The severe infection of abrasion requires immediate medical attention. The skin abrasion is most common in the elbow and palms of hands. Also, knee abrasion is also common.


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Types of Abrasion 

The abrasions are classified into three types based on their cause and level. The classifications of abrasion are listed below.

  • Linear or Scratch Abrasion  

  • Brush or Grazed Abrasion 

  • Patterned Abrasion 


Linear or Scratched Abrasion

The linear or scratched abrasion is mainly caused by a tangential force acting on the skin and results in damaging the epidermis of the skin.  Linear abrasion is the simplest injury. It requires less than a week to heal.  It is medically important if the linear or scratched abrasion occurred in the neck, genitalia, or inner thighs. These injuries can be noticed as nail scratches and mark present in the female genitalia and inner thighs are an indicator of sexual assaults. Likewise, the nail marks around the neck are signs of throttling.


Grazed or Brush Abrasion

Grazed abrasions are mainly occurring due to the friction against a rough surface or broad. This can be commonly noticed from road accidents and injuries occurred in playgrounds.  A brush abrasion occurs while dragging the body on a rough surface. This results in damage to the surface of the epidermis. The depth of brush abrasion completely depends on the force or speed of the body and irregularities on the surface.  


Patterned Abrasion

Patterned abrasions occur when a perpendicular force acts on the epidermis of the skin. This results in an impression on the skin.  Patterned abrasions are further classified into two types, this completely depends on the duration of contact with the body. They are pressure abrasion and impact abrasion. 

  • Pressure Abrasion 

The pressure abrasion occurs while the epidermis is compressed for a long time. However, the force produced on pressure abrasion is minimum, it causes injury. The teeth bite marks and hanging and struggling marks are examples of pressure abrasion.

  • Impact Abrasion 

The impact abrasion occurs when a considerable force of swift blow acts against the skin. This may result in bulging of skin and damage of the epidermis. 


Degree of Abrasion 

Abrasion wounds can range from mild to severe. Most of the abrasion will stay in the mild range and it can be easily treated from home. But, some severe abrasion requires medical treatment. Based on the severity the abrasions are ranged below. 

  • First-Degree Abrasion 

If the first layer of the epidermis is affected or the upper layer of skin peeled, this is considered a first-degree abrasion. Even first-degree abrasion does not cause any bleed. Rarely it will be for scrapes or grazes. 

  • Second-Degree Abrasion

If the epidermis, as well as dermis, are damaged. Then this is considered as second-degree abrasion. Usually, second-degree abrasion causes mild bleeding. 

  • Third-Degree Abrasion 

Severe abrasion is termed third-degree abrasion. It is also known as an avulsion wound. If friction and tears occur on the skin and dermis layer, get a deeper incision. These avulsion wounds will cause heavy bleeding. Likewise, it requires intensive medical care.  


Abrasion Wound Complications

Most of the mild abrasion will take less recovery time. Meanwhile, some deeper abrasion may lead to scarring or infection. It is important to provide proper medication at the right time to reduce the risk developed from abrasion. Periodical check with concern care is important to avoid improving the risk. Some open wounds may cause serious side effects and infections. The signs of abrasion infections are listed below. 

  1. Even a mild abrasion won’t heal in a week

  2. The abrasion may be painful and cause irritation to the skin. 

  3. Wounds may discharge foul-smelling liquid. 

  4. Yellow, brown, or green colour pus may come out from abrasion. 

  5. The severe abrasion will cause fever, which will last for more than 4 hours. 

  6. The infected area became harder and painful lumps may develop near the abrasion 


Abrasion Treatment

  1. The primary goal for the physician while treating is to stop bleeding.  The bleeding mainly occurs due to pressure abrasion. It can be controlled by clean cloth or cotton or any other absorbent material. 

  2. The next step is to clean the abrasion wound with clean warm water or with sterile saline solutions. 

  3. It is important to remove the foreign materials if they could be found near the abraded skin. The wound requires some medication depending on the depth of debris present in the epidermis.

  4. In some cases. The removal of foreign material from abrasion injury may cause a deeper incision. And it requires physician treatment. 

  5. Once the abrasion wound was cleaned, it can be dressed up with petroleum jelly or some antibiotic ointments. 

  6. Some deeper abrasions may require anaesthetic treatment for controlling the pain. 

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FAQs on Abrasion

1. What are the three types of abrasion?

Abrasion is an injury of the skin or visceral lining in the body. This results in a break in the continuity of the tissue. These usually cause simple injuries and most injuries in the epidermis of the skin. The skin abrasion will cause minimal bleeding. There are three types of abrasion namely, Linear or scratch abrasions, Grazed or brush abrasions, and Patterned abrasion. Most of the abrasion does not need a bandage or any medical treatments. It takes about 3 to 7 days for complete recovery. Also, the deeper or large abrasion can take 1 to 2 weeks for complete healing. Some abrasions will remain as scrapes in the body. 

2. How do you heal an abrasion fast?

An abrasion is an open wound caused due to the skin rupture against a rough surface. Abrasions are also known as grace or scrape. Even abrasion is a common injury, it may range from mild to severe.  The method of treating the skin affected by abrasion injury is known as raspberries. 

  1. Can rinse the abraded skin with clean water

  2. Can apply thin antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly on abrasion injury 

  3. Should cover and protect the abrasion properly. 

  4. Should not remove the scabs present on abrasion wound, until it falls

  5. Immediate medication is needed if it could show signs of infection. 

3. What are the complications of an abrasion?

Abrasions can seem harmless to an individual but if left untreated or not taken well care of at the right time they may end up scarring the skin permanently or infection. Even if someone has a case of mild abrasion then too it will take more than a week to heal completely. The abrasion can cause severe irritation and other harmful effects. Abrasion can also be seen expelling yellow, green or brown pus if not treated properly. The infection can further escalate to lumps which are quite painful to deal with.

4. Where can I find the most accurate and to the point notes for ‘abrasions’?

At Vedantu, the students can find the best notes for ‘Abrasions’. These notes are curated by our master teachers who make sure that you ace your exams and turn into the brilliant student you are. The notes are simple and easy to read so that every small complex detail is broken down into a few simple words. These notes are available to students at the Vedantu website or app. So hurry and make the most of the unlimited study material available at 

5. Why should I know about abrasions?

The students must know about Abrasions as these help them in practical knowledge of first- Aid. There are also questions based on the topic of Abrasions which may appear in various competitive or school exams. These questions are often mishandled due to the lack of knowledge about Abrasions in detail which is important to know in the subject of biology. Every student must read about Abrasions or other topics like it from to ensure they are studying the right notes the smart way.

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