How Scraping Heals
Most scrapes heal well with home remedies without scarring. Minor abrasions can be uncomfortable, but usually heal within 3 to 7 days. The larger and deeper the abrasion, the longer it will take to heal. Large, deep abrasions may take 1 to 2 weeks or more to heal.
It is common for a small amount of fluid to flow or ooze when you scratch. This exudate usually disappears gradually and stops within 4 days. Drainage is not a problem as long as there are no signs of infection.
How an abrasion heals depends on the depth, size, and location of the abrasion. Whether the scratch heals or scabs does not affect the healing time or the amount of scarring.
When scraping removes the outer layer of skin, new skin forms at the bottom of the wound and the wound heals from the bottom up. This scratch looks pink and raw at first. As it heals, the new skin sometimes turns yellow and can be confused with pus.
When scraping removes all layers of skin, new skin forms around the edges of the wound, and the wound heals from edge to middle. This type of abrasion looks white at first, and fat cells may be seen. This type of abrasion takes longer to heal.
During the healing process, some scrapes will form a scab. A well-formed scab protects the abrasion from further damage and infection. Once a scab forms, the scratched area usually remains dry and does not ooze fluid.
A scab that forms on an active area, such as a joint, may rupture and a few drops of clear, yellowish to pink fluid may ooze from the wound. A cracked scab can be uncomfortable, and infection can develop under the scab.
The scab usually shrinks and falls off as new skin forms under the scab.
During the healing process, the scab may accidentally rub off, causing the wound to start bleeding again. Treat the wound and protect the area so the healing process can resume.
Some scrapes heal without a scab.
As it heals, the abrasion may remain moist and pink and ooze fluid or a small amount of blood. Over time, the area will turn pink and shiny as new skin forms. This usually occurs when the abrasion is covered with a bandage and washed regularly with soap and water to remove the scabbed tissue.
If the scrape is likely to be dirty or infected, or doesn’t have a scab, it’s best to wrap the scrape with a bandage and let it heal without a scab. This healing process requires more treatment, such as washing the scabbed tissue and dressing the abrasions regularly.