There are particles still stuck in your skin
Depending on the circumstance that caused your scrape, such as falling on gritty footpath, it’s possible that small particles could have gotten lodged in the affected area. It’s critical to remove any particles or dirt from your wound immediately, during the cleansing process, according to dermatologist Dr Sonoa Au, or you could have an infected cut. “However,” she adds, “if you find that you have to dig at your skin to get rid of anything that’s stuck, see a doctor instead.” Don’t assume that scrubbing away at your skin is helpful or that dirt will work its way out. When in doubt, have a medical professional thoroughly clean and assess your scrape or cut.
You used soap to clean your scrape
Surprised to see soap on the list? It’s a commonly used ‘health’ product that can be dangerous for you and your family. Regular hand soap can sometimes irritate skin, which may stall the healing process and in turn, lead to an infected cut. Of course, the way everyone reacts to various cleansers differs from one person to the next, but why take the chance when tending to your cut or scrape? The best bet is for you to refrain from using harsh ingredients. “Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil to clean the area,” Dr Au suggests.
You skipped the bandage
If you think it’s a good idea to let your skin “breathe” after cleaning out a cut or scrape, think again. Dr Au explains that exposing your skin this way has infection written all over it. “New cells have to migrate to the appropriate areas to help with healing,” Dr Au explains. “Keeping your scrape covered and moist facilitates this process. Exposing wounds to air does not.” The best way to get on the fast track to healing and help prevent infection is to keep the wound hydrated with ointments like Vaseline, or Aquaphor. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “petroleum jelly prevents the wound from drying out and forming a scab; wounds with scabs take longer to heal.”