Almost all of us get abrasions at one time or another. An abrasion is a wound to the skin, no deeper than the epidermis.
It usually occurs when exposed skin is damaged by sudden with a rough surface, which causes the upper layer of the skin to rub away. At times, it can be due to an insect bite or allergic reaction.
The abraded skin looks torn or worn off. Other symptoms include pain, swelling, oozing of fluid or bleeding at the site, a burning sensation, tenderness, redness and itching. Mild abrasions do not scar, but deep abrasions may leave scar tissue.
Thin-skinned, bony areas like the knees, ankles and elbows are more prone to abrasions than areas with thicker, more padded skin. Children also are more likely to get abrasions than adults.
Typically, skin abrasions heal within 5 to 10 days, depending on the severity of the wound. Although abrasions are common and not a serious issue, it is important to treat them properly to prevent infection.
You can use home remedies for treating mild abrasions. If you have a deep abrasion that is still swollen or painful after 15 days, seek medical attention.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for skin abrasions.
1. Clean the Abrasion
The first step to treat an abrasion is to clean the area.
It will help clear away all dirt and debris and ensure optimal healing. In addition, it will help prevent infection.
- Wash the affected area with antiseptic soap and cool water.
- Gently pat dry with a clean cloth.
- Apply a thick coat of petroleum jelly, any antiseptic cream or moisturizing lotion over the area to keep the skin moisturized.
- Cover it with a sterile dressing or bandage.
- Change the dressing frequently, at least once daily.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an effective remedy for skin abrasions due to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and skin-repairing properties. It can even keep the skin well-moisturized and promote healing.
- Cut open a fresh aloe vera leaf and extract the inner gel.
- Apply the gel directly on the affected skin.
- Allow the gel to remain on the skin.
- Reapply 2 or 3 times daily until the wound is healed.
Honey also facilitates quick healing of abraded skin. Its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are effective in treating the wound as well as preventing infection. It also helps reduce the possibility of scarring.
- Rub some pure honey on the affected area and put a bandage over it.
- Allow it to sit for an hour.
- Remove the bandage and rinse the area thoroughly with warm water.
- Use this remedy 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
Turmeric is a time-honored remedy for minor skin problems, including abraded skin. Its natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties keep the affected area free from infection as well as facilitate healing.
- Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with enough water to make a paste.
- Apply it directly on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry on the skin and avoid covering it.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day for a few days.
Also, drink a glass of turmeric milk twice daily to improve your body’s ability to heal quickly.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can also help treat abrasions due to its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing properties. When applied on the affected area, it forms a thin, protective layer that protects the damaged skin from dust, bacteria and viruses. It even speeds up the healing process by helping repair damaged skin tissue.
- Slather some extra-virgin coconut oil on the abraded skin.
- Allow it to get absorbed into the skin. You need not rinse it off.
- Reapply the oil 2 or 3 times a day until the skin looks completely healthy.
Calendula, also known as marigold, helps heal wounds and skin irritations. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, including skin abrasions. In addition, it stimulates collagen production that helps repair damaged skin.
- Crush a few fresh calendula flowers to extract the juice. Apply it on the wound 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
- You can also apply over-the-counter calendula cream or lotion on the affected area several times a day to promote healing.
Plantain leaves have excellent healing properties for problems like abrasions, cuts or minor burns. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in the leaves help relieve pain and itching. They also help speed up the healing process as well as prevent infection.
- Pound 3 or 4 fresh plantain leaves into a paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
You can also use over-the-counter plantain creams or ointments on abraded skin to facilitate healing.
8. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is very effective in treating abrasions. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that disinfect the affected skin and protect it against infection. In addition, it helps build collagen to promote healing.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of neem leaf juice and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Apply it on the affected area. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours, then rinse it off with warm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily for several days.
- You can also apply neem oil diluted with carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil on the affected skin and allow it to dry. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
9. Vitamin E
The antioxidant property of this important vitamin accelerates healing of damaged skin as well as helps prevent infection. It even prevents scarring in case of deeper abrasions.
- Apply some vitamin E oil on the affected area.
- Massage gently for 5 minutes to help the oil penetrate into the skin. You do not need to rinse it off.
- Repeat twice daily until the abrasion is healed.
Also, eat more foods rich in vitamin E, such as milk, avocados, olives, sunflower seeds, spinach, asparagus and whole grains.
10. Increase Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is very helpful for all types of skin wounds. This powerful antioxidant boosts the immune system to fight off infection due to an abrasion. It also promotes quick healing.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and red peppers.
- You can also take vitamin C supplements, after consulting your doctor.
- Cover the wound with a non-stick sterile dressing and change the dressing regularly.
- Try not to exert yourself, as it may cause the wound to bleed.
- Do not expose abraded skin to the sun, as permanent hyperpigmentation can develop.
- Apply ice on the affected area if there is bruising or swelling. Wrap it in a thin towel before applying.
- Do not wear clothes that can cling or rub the area and worsen it.
- Do not pick or scratch at scabs.
- Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol, as they will delay the healing process.
- Wear kneepads, skin guards, gloves and elbow pads when taking part in sport activities.
- Keep your skin well-moisturized to minimize friction and prevent abrasions.
- In cases of persistent bleeding or intense pain, consult a doctor.