Skin irritation due to friction: care and treatments

Skin irritation due to friction: care and treatments

Skin irritation from friction with any object is a fairly common condition. We teach you what it consists of and what you can do about it.

Skin irritation due to friction: care and treatments

Last update: January 30, 2023

Skin irritation due to friction, also called ‘rubbing’, is a typical lesion that It occurs when the skin is rubbed for a long time or quickly against a particular item. It is characterized by the appearance of painful rashes, which can be accompanied by itching and bleeding.

In most cases, the injury disappears after avoiding contact with what causes friction. However, sometimes its healing is complicated and an infection occurs. Therefore, it is convenient to give it proper management and implement some care to speed up its healing. Let’s see in detail.

What is a sore or friction injury?

Skin irritation from friction or rubbing It is also called ‘sore’ or ‘excoriation’. According to a magazine publication Offarmare lesions that occur in the most superficial structures of the skin.

Specifically, they affect the stratum corneum of the epidermis, that is, the most superficial layer that is responsible for protecting against any type of aggression. And although this fabric is flexible and resistant to various physical and chemical agents in the environment, it can be altered by constant rubbing against elements that weaken it.

Thus, a rather non-specific skin rash is produced. To cite a few examples, it happens in diaper rash in babies or blowing your nose a lot when you have a cold.

The continuous rubbing of the skin against items such as clothing can cause friction rashes.

How does skin irritation from friction occur?

Skin irritation due to friction, as its name suggests, It is produced by a direct and continuous rubbing of the skin against an object. This can happen anywhere on the body. For example, by rubbing against clothing or shoes. It is also typical for it to occur in the thighs when walking.

Risk factor’s

Although the cause is something as simple as continuous rubbing on the skin, the truth is that there are many factors that can cause this to happen. In fact, the irritation it produces is more typical in certain areas of the body or when performing some activities.

Some risk factors are the following:

  • Practice sports such as running or riding a bicycle. These are movements that usually cause friction between different parts of the body against each other, against the bicycle or against the outfit itself.
  • Dress in very tight clothing.
  • Participate in endurance sports or in prolonged activities.
  • Perspiring excessively.

Babies and young children are more prone to skin irritation due to friction, especially if they wear a diaper, since it increases humidity in the area and friction when moving.

Symptoms of skin irritation from friction

Frictional skin irritation is characterized by a rash or rash on the affected area. In general, it is mild and does not cause much pain. Even so, if the rubbing continues and the lesion deepens, blisters or scabs may form. If so, you may also experience pain, bleeding, and itching.

This often occurs in areas that are weak or that tend to be wet. For example, in the groin, feet (or heels), thighs, armpits, and nipples.

Possible complications

Without proper management, rubbing wounds can lead to complications. And although the rash does not spread to other areas of the body, bleeding, blisters or scabs may appear.

Consequently, bacteria proliferate in the area and penetrate the skin. This is how it can evolve into a skin infection, which leads to other symptoms such as a sensation of heat, swelling, pain, pus, among others.

Infections must be treated appropriately to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. This is especially important in people who have a weakened immune system.

Care and remedies to treat skin irritation due to friction

Skin irritation from friction usually resolves on its own in a few days, at least if the rash is mild and the rubbing stops. If this is not the case, it is possible that the damage becomes deeper and the complications that we have indicated appear.

Also, if the skin is subjected to constant moisture, it is likely to break down or re-injure itself. Therefore, it is necessary to try Frequently dry the irritated area. Some people apply certain lotions or creams to reduce inflammation and pain on the skin.

For example, one study explains that shea butter-based lotion may be beneficial for these types of rashes due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Something similar happens with other products such as aloe vera gel and products that contain coconut oil.

Now, if there are blisters, the fluid should be drained to avoid complications. To do this, you have to carefully prick its edges, using a sterilized needle. After doing this, the area must be carefully cleaned and covered with non-stick gauze.

It should be noted that it is important to monitor the healing process to verify that there is no infection.

When to seek medical help?

It is not usually necessary to consult the doctor when skin irritation occurs due to friction. The injury improves with the days, as long as contact with the element that causes the rubbing is avoided. However, if there are symptoms of infection, such as pus, redness and severe pain, it is better to see a professional.

A visit to the doctor is also recommended if the injury occurs on the face or near the eyes. The specialist will determine if the use of antiseptics is necessary to accelerate healing.

How to prevent skin irritation from friction?

There are a number of simple measures to prevent friction injuries from appearing on the skin. First, try to stop any activity in which you begin to feel irritation or itching in some area.

For example, if when walking you feel discomfort in the heel from the shoes. It is also advisable to wear clothing and shoes that fit well and are capable of absorbing moisture. If you are going to carry out a sporting activity, you must try to protect the areas most sensitive to rubbing.

For this, soft bandages can be used in the areas where these injuries have already been generated at some time. Talcum powder can reduce friction and decrease moisture. In the case of the nipples, it is recommended to use suitable bras or pads that protect them.

It is important to identify which are the elements that cause skin lesions in order to reduce or eliminate their use.

What you must remember

Skin irritation due to friction is a very frequent injury. It is characterized by a rash in the area where the rubbing has occurred. Although it is mild and self-limiting, it can become complicated when the friction is not stopped.

The area needs to be cleaned drain blisters and apply anti-inflammatory products that help in the recovery of the skin. If there are symptoms of infection, it is advisable to see a doctor to receive treatment with antiseptics.

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