ABRASIONS, SKIN SCRATCHES
WHAT ARE ABRASIONS, SKIN SCRATCHES, CUTS AND SCARS ON THE SKIN?
In the spring, when the season of frequent outdoor activities usually begins, the injuries of the skin are more recurrent as we wear less clothes and the skin is more exposed. These injuries are usually in the form of abrasions or scratches, which can be superficial or deep. Regardless of the season, working in the home environment, especially in the kitchen or outdoors (garden), can lead to cuts or stab wounds. When the wounds heal, we can prevent the formation of scars. They form differently in each of us – some form barely noticeable scars, while others have very significant ones.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
An abrasion forms when the skin rubs against with a rough surface, causing ripped blood veins in the skin and bleeding. The surface of the injury is often big, therefore the abrasion can quickly infect with dirt (bacteria) and needs proper treatment as soon as possible. Scratches usually involve minimal bleeding or bleed right at the surface.
A cut has smooth edges and can bleed severely if it is deep. Muscles, tendons and nerves under the skin can be damaged. If we do not clean the cut, it can become infected. We press a sterile covering against it (e.g. covering for wounds made of gauze or a compress).
A stab wound is a narrow, deep injury that forms because of an invasion of a narrow object, such as nail, which penetrates the skin. Stab wounds usually do not cause severe bleeding, but they can cause internal injury. They often seemingly heal which we can mistakenly identify as successful healing. But it can lead to severe infections, tetanus.
In case the wound is wide open, a scar can form.
WHAT CAN WE DO IN CASE OF ABRASIONS OR SCARS?
We use saline solution or running water to wash the abrasion or scratch and then spray it with a product containing active oxygen compounds and ionised silver that cleans and oxygenates the skin as well as stimulates its regeneration, faster healing and has a mild antiseptic effect.
Since the skin is damaged, the use of products and ingredients that stimulate the skin regeneration is recommended:
- ointments containing fish oil, rich in vitamin D, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory effect;
- products containing pot marigold have an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate the natural regeneration of the skin;
- products containing zinc oxide bind with the wound secretion (absorbent) and have an antiseptic effect;
- products containing dexpanthenol, which transforms into pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) in the skin, and this in turn affects epithelium regeneration and stimulates healing of the wounds as well as alleviates inflammations;
- preparations containing hyaluronic acid ensure appropriate moisture for rapid healing and are therefore an excellent choice. If they also contain ionised silver, the anti-microbial effect is stronger.
Possible fragments and dirt need to be removed from the injured area of the skin. If the abrasion is superficial, we leave it uncovered. Using water or saline solution or solution with active oxygen compounds several times a day, we wash (remove) fibrin build-up, which forms because of ichor secretion and looks like white mucus. This way we monitor the healing and remove the formed crust under which bacteria may grow.
If the abrasion is deeper, we cover it with a sterile gauze. Other fabrics (textile) are not suitable, as there can be bacteria present.
If the abrasion is so deep that it goes through the skin and painful redness appears, the wound festers and our body temperature rises, we need to see a doctor, who usually prescribes an antibiotic.
In case of severe bleeding from the wound, we press a sterile covering against it (e.g. covering for wounds made of gauze).
If we get injured outdoor (when we run and fall) or while working (in the garden, on the field), we need to be careful. Soil often contains bacteria Clostridium tetani, which cause tetanus. Infections with this bacterium can occur sporadically, every couple of years. All bacteria are dangerous, but antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA, VRE, ESBL) that are common in hospitals cause greater concern. So immediate prevention and treatment with solution containing active oxygen compounds and ionised silver is the right choice. The two ingredients work complementary and ensure care and protection of the damaged skin that can be jeopardized by an infection.
When an abrasion or wound is healing, it is time to prevent scars. In general, scars can be alleviated by massage with fatty creams or by silicone patches that are applied on the area of the injury as well as by products that soften the tissue around the scar.
We can start with the treatment against the scar formation, when the white pus disappears, the wound starts to heal and new tissue starts to build. The best way to help the skin with an emerging scar is to supply it with oxygen (with active oxygen compounds). The skin then regenerates quicker and the scar is less visible or it completely disappears. Scars also need to be protected with an SPF 50 sun cream, otherwise a darker pigment of skin can form on the area of the scar.