Basic “Scar Minimizing” Wound Care – Early Scrapes
Posted Jan 31 2011 10:30am
Not long ago I scraped my forehead on a cabinet. There was little embedded dirt or grime. A scrape is just a wide superficial wound with a thin layer “worn away” skin .
These wounds bleed a bit and a scab forms. How does a plastic surgeon take care of such a wound when he is the patient? I like anyone else like to try to minimize the scar. These wounds go through stages:
I. Early (days) – Bleed and Scab – I put pressure on it with clean gauze to stop the bleeding. I took a good look to make sure there was no other injury that might need further attention like a deeper cut, embedded material or continued bleeding. I gently cleaned debris from the wound bed with soap and water without trying to remove the scab. Then I dressed the wound with Silvasorb Wound Gel . I repeated this every day or so to keep the wound moist. (I am partial to the ionic silver wound gels as they encourage quicker healing and and be left on days at a time without a problem when things are clean. Bacteria do not seem to become immune to the effects of silver dressings. You can use double or triple antibiotic ointment if you like, but you will have to do it 2-3 times daily and the wound will probably look “angrier” longer.) I kept the healing wound out of the sun.
II. Intermediate to Late (weeks) – The scab will peel away slowly as the tissue heals beneath it. Once the scab is gone and the wound is closed it no longer requires gel or antibiotic ointment. I will keep it out of the sun either covered with a bandage or with sunscreen of SPF 50 or greater for several months. This helps minimize the color change between the wounded area and the adjacent skin. There are other scar therapy treatments we will cover in a later post.
John Di Saia MD
P.S. If your wound doesn’t improve with whatever wound therapy you are using over the first few days after wounding, see your doctor. Increased pain, redness or drainage means you need to see your doctor. My personal wound care observations are not a substitution for your own professional care.