What is an abrasion?

Abrasions are a type of surface wound that are characterised by damage to the skin. They typically affect the epidermis - the outer layer of the skin. They do not usually reach the underlying dermis - the deeper layer of the skin.

Abrasions occur frequently, often as a result of falls or the skin coming into contact with rough surfaces. Some of the most common causes include bicycle accidents and accidents related to other outdoor activities, especially among children. Abrasions are common and can be painful, but they tend not to be very severe and are simple to treat.

Cross section of a shallow abrasion
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How to treat abrasions

  1. 1. CLEANSE

    A clean and cleansed wound is the first step to an optimal healing process. After stopping the bleeding, cleanse the abrasion from dirt, bacteria and visible particles, using the Elastoplast Wound Spray to prevent infections.
  2. 2. PROTECT

    The second step is to protect your abrasion from dirt and bacteria, in order to reduce the risk of infection. Gently dry the surrounding skin and cover the abrasion with a plaster, sterile wound dressing or compress from Elastoplast.
  3. 3. HEAL

    The third step involves helping your abrasion to heal safely, quickly and with a reduced risk of scarring. Apply the Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment regularly until the abrasion has healed completely.
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How long do abrasions take to heal?

The healing time for abrasions will vary depending on their size and severity. In general, an abrasion will take several days to heal. It is important to follow a proper wound care routine in order to facilitate fast healing. This helps prevent complications, such as infections, and reduces the risk of scarring. Read more about wound healing here.
Parent applying plaster to child's leg.
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Infected abrasions

Typical signs of an infection are redness, warmth, pain, swelling of the wound and occurrence of pus. Also, a fever may be a sign of an infection. If you believe that your wound may have become infected, or if the wound seems to heal particularly slowly, you should consult a doctor. To prevent infection, always make sure you take quick action by cleansing and protecting your wound as soon as a skin abrasion has occurred.
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Abrasions and children

Abrasions are most common among younger children who spend a lot of time playing outside. The best way to prevent scraped knees and elbows among kids is to always use proper knee and elbow pads during skateboarding or other outdoor activities with a high risk of falling. Bicycle falls are one of the most common causes of scrapes and wounds, but you can reduce the risk by teaching your child safe riding practices. It’s also important to warn kids that accidents may happen, to comfort them if they fall off their bike and encourage them to get back on the bike as soon as possible! Use Elastoplast’s Disney STAR WARS™ or Disney FROZEN plasters with fun designs to put a smile back on your kid’s face.
Young boys with helmets sitting on skateboards
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Always see a doctor if the wound is deep, bleeds heavily or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or a burning sensation. Although compiled with great care, please note that the tips and advice given on this website are by no means a substitute for medical advice and treatment. If you have or suspect that you have a health problem, consult a doctor and follow his or her medical advice, regardless of what you have learned on this website. Always read and follow carefully both the instructions for use, and the leaflets that come with our products, before treating grazes and scrapes.

For further information about our products, please contact us via email at consumer.relations.uk@beiersdorf.com