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 is 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.
1. Linear or Scratch Abrasion
2. Brush or Grazed Abrasion
3. Patterned Abrasion
Linear or Scratched Abrasion
The linear or scratched abrasion is mainly caused by 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 marks 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 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.
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.
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 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.
If the first layer of the epidermis is affected or the upper layer of skin peeled, this is considered as a first degree abrasion. Even first-degree abrasion does not cause any bleed. Rarely it will be for scrapes or grazes.
If the epidermis, as well as dermis, are damaged. Then this is considered as second degree abrasion. Usually, second degree abrasion causes mild bleeding.
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 scare 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.
Even a mild abrasion won’t heal in a week
The abrasion may be painful and cause irritation to the skin.
Wounds may discharge foul smelling liquid.
Yellow, brown, or green color pus may come out from abrasion.
The severe abrasion will cause fever, which will last for more than 4 hours.
The infected area became harder and painful lumps may develop near the abrasion
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.
The next step is to clean the abrasion wound with clean warm water or with sterile saline solutions.
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.
In some cases. The removal of foreign material from abrasion injury may cause deeper incision. And it requires physician treatment.
Once the abrasion wound was cleaned, it can be dressed up with petroleum jelly or some antibiotic ointments.
Some deeper abrasion may require anesthetic treatment for controlling the pain.