Carpet or rug burns are small first-degree burns caused by a sharp or sudden movement of bare skin against an abrasive surface. These burns sting and can be quite painful as the top layers of skin are scraped off, leaving tiny broken blood vessels and damaging the nerve endings of the skin. You can treat carpet burns easily at home without a visit to your physician, taking care with smaller children to monitor the site regularly for signs of infection.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Cool water
- Sterile gauze or cotton
- Mild antiseptic
- Aloe vera
- Nonsticking dressing
Clean your hands thoroughly in soap and water before touching the wound to avoid infecting it.
Rinse the wound under cool water for five minutes to help soothe it. If there is dirt in the wound, wash gently with mild soap and cool water.
Gently dab at the wound with a sterile dressing to dry it and to stop any bleeding. Rug burns do not generally bleed heavily, but if there is excessive bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a sterile gauze pad.
Apply a mild topical antiseptic spray to the site, if desired, but avoid those with alcohol in them. Aloe vera may be soothing on the wound site, but avoid greasy creams or lotions as these will interfere with the healing process. The dryer the wound, the quicker it will heal.
Dress the wound if it is on a small child to keep it clean and to stop the child from touching or picking at it. Use sterile, nonadhesive dressing that will not stick to the wound. You may use an adhesive bandage placed loosely over smaller wounds, taking care not to get the adhesive portion on the wound. Adults may leave the wound dressing-free for quicker healing.
Allow the wound to heal free of dressings once a solid crust has formed (usually 24 hours) to expedite healing. Be careful not to pull the crust off when removing dressing. Smaller children may need the dressing on for several days if they are apt to scratch it.
Tips and warnings
- Keep the wound dry to expedite healing.
- Infected wounds may show signs of increased tenderness, heat at the wound site, swelling and pus secretions. See your doctor if you notice the wound is not healing well or note any signs of infection.
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