While serious wounds need immediate medical attention, minor scrapes can be treated with home remedies. As long as the wound doesn’t spurt bright red blood, or contain too much debris to clean yourself, consider dealing with it at home. Before attempting any self treatment, wash and dry the cut to reduce the risk of infection and scarring. See your doctor if the scrape doesn’t respond to home remedies.
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Treat cuts and scrapes resulting from outdoor activities with common wild plants, advises herbal author Dina Falconi. Plantain leaves and yarrow leaves each contain astringent properties, helping to close the wound and stop bleeding. They also help disinfect the wound and even have mild pain-killing abilities, Falconi notes. Improvise a poultice by chewing yarrow or plantain leaves to release their healing compounds, then apply the leaves thickly to the scrape and leave on for several minutes. For a longer-lasting poultice, bring a handful of the leaves indoors and blend them with two tbsp water, two drops lavender and one drop tea tree essential oil. Apply this herbal paste to the scrape. Cover with a clean gauze bandage.
The People’s Pharmacy, a home remedy web site, passes along the tip of using honey on a scrape. The honey’s consistency acts as moisture barrier, while its antibacterial properties appear to fight off infections. Clean and dry the scrape first, and coat the wound with a thin layer of honey. Allow to air-dry.
Many people keep aloe vera plants in the kitchen to treat cooking burns. The healing gel in the plants’ fleshy leaves also works well to treat scrapes, notes author Bill Gottlieb in his book “New Choices in Natural Healing.” After cleaning a scrape, cut open an aloe vera leaf, squeeze the gel onto your skin and spread it over the entire scrape. Like honey, aloe vera gel prevents moisture or debris from entering the cut. It also provides pain relief and hastens healing. Use fresh leaves to reapply the aloe vera gel several times a day while the scrape is healing.
While the idea of using cayenne pepper on a scrape sounds painful, the reality is the opposite—as long as the scrape is a minor one. Cayenne pepper actually heals scrapes and eases pain, according to Gottlieb. The compound capsaicin, found in all hot peppers, prevents the brain from receiving “pain messages,” as Gottlieb puts it. It also accelerates healing. Dab the pepper on the scrape and wipe off after a few moments. Do not pour cayenne pepper into an open wound.
Sugar and Petroleum Jelly
For oozing scrapes or open wounds, consider using a combination of sugar and petroleum jelly, Gottlieb advises. Sugar robs germs of the nutrients they need to thrive in a scrape, thus fighting infection and aiding the healing process. The petroleum jelly holds the sugar in place. Apply petroleum jelly on the perimeter of the wound and dab the sugar directly on the scrape. Put a bandage over the scrape. Repeat the process at least once a day with more sugar and petroleum and a fresh bandage.
- "Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair;" Dina Falconi; 1998
- The People's Pharmacy: Honey for Wounds
- Mothernature.com: New Choices in Natural Healing: Cuts, Scrapes and Scratches