Getting scrapes on different parts of the body is a part of growing up. Most of us have faint, irregularly shaped marks on our knees and elbows, which we show off to anyone who cares to notice them, as the proud remnants of our biking/climbing/surfing misadventures.

But scrapes look and feel much better when they are referred to in the past tense. When they happen, the blood and pain do not feel that exciting. You need to know how to treat scrapes properly so that they do not get infected. These are some tips as to what you should and should not do.

1. Wash the scrape thoroughly with soap and clean water, and pat dry. Remove any debris or impurities that are found sticking to it, as this may lead to infection. Examine the depth of the wound. If it does not continue to bleed, you just need to apply an antiseptic lotion or cream, and leave it at that. Open healing would be better. But if it is in a sensitive area or in some place which comes in frequent contact with clothes, then it is better cover it with a medicated bandage. Otherwise your dress would stick to it, and peeling it away can be a lot more painful and bloody. 

2. You need to get medical help if the scrape does not stop bleeding. Apply pressure on it using a paper towel or a clean compress. Put an ice pack on the wound to numb the blood vessels. Do not wipe it once the bleeding is under control, for this will trigger further bleeding. Examine the wound – If it is deep, then you might need stitches.

3. If the scrape was caused by anything dirty or rusted, then you might be required to take an injection against tetanus. The same holds true if it is caused by an animal bite.  This necessitates an injection to prevent rabies.

4. Once the wound is properly dressed, take care to see that it does not get wet. This might loosen the bandage, and the antiseptic medicines applied to the wound would get washed away. If you have applied a Band-Aid, give it a few days’ time before you take it off.

5. Do not try any natural or homemade remedy if you are not fully convinced of its efficacy. This might cause even a superficial wound to turn septic.

6. During the healing period, the scrape might feel itchy. You should control your urge to scratch that area, for this might open the wound again.