Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How long does it take to regrow scraped skin?"
How long should I expect it to take for my boyfriend to regrow a patch of skin that he just scraped really badly in a bike accident? It's on his cheek and chin, and it's scabbing over now. Is there a way to speed up this process?
Scrapes and other minor injuries to the skin are very common, and there are some basic thing that you can do to prevent infection and hasten healing. First, and by far the most important thing, is that your boyfriend should avoid picking at the scabbed over area. As the skin heals the scab tends to itch and it can also be unsightly, so there is the temptation to try to pick it off, which must be resisted! Premature removal of the scab just delays the healing process, can cause permanent scarring, and can also predispose to infection.
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In terms of skin hygiene, after the scrape has scabbed over, it is ok to wash it. The best way to do this is just to let warm water run over it in the shower, avoiding scrubbing and soaps or other chemicals. In the first few days, while the scab is forming, your boyfriend can also apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream, such as triple antibiotic cream or bacitracin. In addition to keeping the area moist, it will also help to prevent any infection from setting in. Taking all these steps, you can expect the scrape to heal up over 1-2 weeks. If you have further concerns, feel free to talk to your boyfriend's primary care doctor.
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