In essence, an abrasion is a ‘scrape’ that happens when the skin is rubbed away and can occur as a result of abrasive material (friction or chaffing from clothes or objects), falling on gravel, or ‘skinning’ areas of the body when objects brush past the body at high speed (for example twigs and branches when tumbling down a hill). Children are most at risk for abrasions – most commonly at school in the playground.
Abrasions can hurt and cause pain (usually experienced as a ‘burning’ sensation). Most abrasions will not cause excessive bleeding, but some may ‘weep’ a clear fluid. Abrasions are usually red and may be accompanied by swelling and inflammation. Abrasions can also be accompanied by cuts or bruising of tissue around and under the abrasion. Abrasions should be kept sterile until a natural scab forms over the wound to prevent any infection. Consult a doctor if you experience signs of infection.