Alert



Friction burn

A friction burn occurs when skin is scraped off by contact with surfaces such as roads, carpets, or other hard floor surfaces. It usually is both a scrape (abrasion) and a heat burn.

Friction burns are often seen in athletes who fall on floors, courts, tracks, or artificial turfs. Motorcycle or bicycle riders who have road accidents while not wearing protective clothing may get friction burns.

Friction burns can occur on any part of the body but these types of scrapes usually affect bony areas, such as the hands, forearms, elbows, knees, or shins. Scrapes are usually more painful than cuts because scrapes tear a larger area of skin and expose more nerve endings. Scrapes on the head or face may appear worse than they are and bleed a lot because of the ample blood supply to this area.

The seriousness of the injury can be determined after the bleeding is controlled. The friction burn should be cleaned and any dirt or debris removed to prevent infections.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.