Abrasion

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

In dermatology, an abrasion is superficial damage to the skin, generally not deeper than the epidermis. It is more superficial than an excoriation, although it can give mild bleeding. Mild abrasions, also known as grazes do not scar, but deep abrasions may lead to the development of scarring tissue.

Causes

Most commonly, abrasion injuries occur when exposed skin comes into moving contact with a rough surface causing trauma to the upper layers of the epidermis. Such injuries, where caused by abrasive contact with textiles or carpet, are sometimes referred to as rug burn or carpet burn.

Diagnosis

Physical Examination

Abrasion on the palm of a right hand, shortly after falling
Abrasions on elbow and lower arm. The elbow wound will produce a permanent scar.

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