I have injured myself with a washcloth. Please help.
July 1, 2013 1:28 PM   Subscribe

I was too aggressive with a washcloth in my attempt to self-remove a seborrheic keratosis on my temple. I seem to have injured myself. At first, the spot where I rubbed was just a bit red and raw, but 3 days later it looks like a full-fledged scrape with light scabbing. I'm keeping vaseline on it. Any advice for speeding the healing?
posted by Wordwoman to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Rather than petroleum jelly alone, try Neosporin. I find that it works really quickly.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]

Neosporin? Aloe Vera?
posted by oceanjesse at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2013

I do this too, sometimes. My regimen is a light coat of triple anti-biotic, then leave the spot alone for several days. Since I am a man, and I occasionally accidentally rub my cheeks away like this, that means no shaving for me during that time. The triple antibiotic discourages infections, and has a slight moisturizing/calming effect on your skin. Anyway, that's what I do.
posted by seasparrow at 1:33 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hey, I did the same thing all across the bridge of my nose once! It garnered some interesting comments from coworkers, I'll tell you that. Treat it like you'd treat a fresh tattoo - keep it moist but not TOO moist, let it breathe, gently wash it with warm water in the shower, etc.
posted by julthumbscrew at 1:36 PM on July 1, 2013

+1 on Neosporin/antibiotic ointment. Once the scab starts coming off, make sure your put a high-SPF sunscreen on the area so you don't get lasting darkening of that spot.
posted by quince at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

For an abrasion, I love this first aid cream. It kills pain and everything I use it on heals fast.
posted by bearwife at 1:48 PM on July 1, 2013

After getting a nasty scrape recently and almost smearing Neosporin all over it, I decided to check the WebMD and Mayo Clinic recommendations first. It turns out the latest research today says to avoid antibiotics, as they are at least as likely to cause a negative reaction as to help the problem. So, following the advice of the Internet, I smeared my wound in Vaseline and left it alone as much as possible, only covering it with a bandage when I went to bed (to protect the sheets from Vaseline) or when I wore clothes that were likely to rub against the injured area.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2013

keep it clean if it's an open wound?
minor cuts and scrapes don't need much help healing.
if you just want to rub something on it to make yourself feel better then honey is a great barrier cream. it is also mildly antibiotic and helps reduce the heal time for cuts, scrapes and burns and can prevent scars. seriously, it works. just use enough to lightly cover the wound. reapply as needed. nature's miracle cream.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 1:56 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend Calendula ointment. It makes my skin heal noticeably faster.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2013

If it's swelling up or itching, a bit of cortisol cream (different from neosporin, but also available over the counter) can help if Vaseline isn't doing the trip--just don't overdo it, since it can thin out the skin.
posted by kagredon at 2:27 PM on July 1, 2013

Best answer: For scrapes, zits, cuts, road rash and all other shallow but annoying wounds: gently wash and pat dry the area, then apply a Tegaderm transparent bandage. Seriously. I got bad road rash a couple of years ago, and this stuff healed it up in a few days. A stray hormonal zit on my chin a couple of months ago? Gone in a little over a day.

You want the completely transparent version. Tegaderm is very thin, almost saran wrap thin, but it clings well, stays on in the shower, and lets the wound stay moist, breathe and heal quickly. Scabs are bad and impede healing.

Do NOT get variations where there's an extra gauze bandage meant to be placed over the cut, or a thick version that is called "hydrocolloid". I have found that the adhesive irritates the skin, and these bandages hurt like hell to take off. (I'm looking at you, Elastoplast.)

In contrast, Tegaderm is easy to apply (read the directions the first time), and absolutely painless to remove. If the size you buy seems too large for your temple, cut it into two pieces so you get two roughly square pieces, each one with a cardboard rim backing that helps you apply it properly. Keep the second piece for your next little injury.

If you get a zit or another one of those little growths again, try applying some salicylic acid under the Tegaderm for extra healing. But Tegaderm alone is a great, great thing. Do NOT put antibiotic, vaseline, cortisone cream or anything else on your current wound: those will all work against the controlled breathability of the bandage.
posted by maudlin at 6:04 PM on July 1, 2013

Bag Balm.
posted by Lynsey at 9:04 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Vitamin E oil, as strong as you kind find it (the more IUs the better).

This is the best thing I've ever found for the speeding the healing of minor cuts and abrasions.

Good luck!
posted by jack.brodey at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2013

Taking a different road: If you wanna try healing it from the inside instead, maybe try collagen pills or a hyaluronic acid with chondroitin sulfate supplement. It's supposed to help with the elasticity of the skin. Also Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Grape Seed extract is supposed to be good for healing too, but I haven't personally tried it.

If a scab is forming, I'm nthing keeping it emolliated with vaselline. If you're worried about scarring, the principle is still the same-- keeping it emolliated should help the tissue to reform evenly. I scar easily, so I like a silicone based gel/cream because it lasts longer and I use less of it. I like a brand called Scarsil but I'm not sure if that's available over there.
posted by Dimes at 11:54 AM on July 2, 2013

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