Skip to main content

How to Treat a Scrape in 4 Easy Steps


Getting scrapes is part of being a kid, and treating them is part of being a parent. Most can be effectively treated at home by learning in advance how to properly care for scrapes.

How to treat a scrape

A scrape is, quite literally, when we scrape off the outer layer, or epidermis, of our skin. Scrapes can range from a mild scuffing to big abrasions and while blood loss is usually mild, the exposed nerve endings can be quite painful.

1. Wash your hands: Preventing infection is rule number one, so wash your hands well with soap and water before attending to a scrape on yourself, or a family member.

2. Clean the scrape: As soon as possible, clean the wound to reduce the chance of infection. If there are splinters, or chunky debris stuck in the skin, gently remove them first, using tweezers cleaned in alcohol. Wash the scrape well with a mild soap or antibiotic cleanser and cool running water for up to 5 minutes, depending on the severity of the scrape. This may increase bleeding temporarily, but thorough cleaning is important. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine-based products as they can further irritate the injured tissue.

3. Apply an antibiotic: Gently apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the scrape to discourage infection

Need an antibiotic ointment? Try NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar antibiotic ointment

4. Cover the scrape: For anything more than light scrapes, applying a bandage dressing is a good idea to keep harmful bacteria away. Change the dressing at least once a day, or if it gets wet or dirty.

Cover that scrape with BAND-AID® Brand SKIN-FLEXTM Bandages. Designed to move like a second skin and dries almost instantly

A Quick Note About Healing Time: Small amounts of oozing blood or fluid are common with scrapes and usually stop within a few days. Scrapes are uncomfortable, but with thoughtful care, you can minimize the risk of infection and promote healing. If, however, your scrape has trouble healing or becomes infected, seek medical attention.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017