Scrapes and Scratches












UNI Urgent Care can help treat bumps, cuts, scrapes and scratches. We understand that many minor cuts and scrapes can be treated a home. We are going to give you some tips to help determine when you might want to seek medical treatment.

According to Seattle Children’s Hospital:

Types of Skin Injury

  • Cuts, lacerations, gashes and tears. These are wounds that go through the skin to the fat tissue. Caused by a sharp object.
  • Scrapes, abrasions, scratches and floor burns. These are surface wounds that don’t go all the way through the skin. Scrapes are common on the knees, elbows and palms.
  • Bruises. These are bleeding into the skin from damaged blood vessels. Caused by a blunt object. They can occur without a cut or scrape.

How to Treat a Scrape, Scratch or Cut

If you are handling your own injury make sure to wash your hands before you get started. If you are handling an injury on another person, always employ universal precautions to make sure blood borne illnesses and other infections. Use clean, medical grade gloves to attend to the injury.


The Mayo Clinic has a helpful guide for managing minor scrapes and cuts at home.

  • STOP THE BLEEDING – Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If needed, apply gentle pressure with a clean bandage or cloth and elevate the wound until bleeding stops.
  • CLEAN THE WOUND – Rinse the wound with water. Keeping the wound under running tap water will reduce the risk of infection. Wash around the wound with soap. But don’t get soap in the wound. And don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine, which can be irritating. Remove any dirt or debris with a tweezers cleaned with alcohol. See a doctor if you can’t remove all debris.
  • APPLY AN ANTIBIOTIC OR PETROLEUM JELLY – Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to keep the surface moist and help prevent scarring. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  • COVER THE WOUND – Apply a bandage, rolled gauze or gauze held in place with paper tape. Covering the wound keeps it clean. If the injury is just a minor scrape or scratch, leave it uncovered.
  • CHANGE THE DRESSING – Do this at least once a day or whenever the bandage becomes wet or dirty.
  • GET A TETANUS SHOT – Get a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in the past five years and the wound is deep or dirty.

When Should Visit UNI Urgent Care?

As we often say in this blog, if you have any doubt or concern you should contact a physician if you have an injury or illness. Seek medical assistance if you have a cut, scrape, or scratches and:

  • Cannot stop the bleeding
  • Start experiencing signs and symptoms of an infection in or around the injury area
  • Cannot clean the injury
  • The injury is from a human or other animal bite

Please visit any of our six UNI locations if you think you have a cut, scrapes and scratches that you would like a physician to evaluate. No appointment needed, walk-in, get evaluated, and feel better!

This information is not a substitute for medical advice nor is it intended as such. If you have questions about your health please contact our office, or 911 in case of an emergency.