Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery & Laser Surgery

Road Rash Woes

scrape*

Today when I was examining a 16yr old patient for a wart follow-up on her hand I noticed that her arm and leg were covered in scrapes and bruises. When I asked what happened she told me, “I fell off a car”. Fell off a car? I repeated. “Yep, fell off a car”. Apparently her friend swerved while she was holding on to the outside.

-note to self: politely ask my friends not to swerve next time I am holding on to the outside of a car

Her next question was, “how do I prevent my scrapes from scarring?”

While there is nothing you can do to completely prevent scarring there are some things you can do to help minimizing scarring:

  1. Keep the wound covered. Don’t let the wound dry out and scab over. Wounds heal better when they are kept moist and covered.
  2. Don’t pick. If your wound has formed a scab do not pick it. Traumatizing the wound can lead to further scaring.
  3. Stay out of the sun. While your skin is healing UV exposure can cause discoloration forming an unsightly scar.
  4. Minimize movement. Tension and motion can cause the scar to widen, so try your best to avoid activity that pulls the skin around the wound tight.

*When searching for a picture of a scrape I came across the above photo. It’s actually a temporary tattoo. Did you know they make bruise tattoos too?

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