Turf burn: How it is managed?

Fact Checked

A turf burn is a prevalent injury among athletes especially in soccer and football players. The injury is caused by friction which generates heat and scrapes off the skin, leaving a sore and unsightly abrasion.


Remember that correct treatment for a turf burn is vital in promoting the healing process, prevent infection and lessen the potential for scarring.

Steps in managing a turf burn

Place pressure using a sterile gauze or clean cloth to control the bleeding.
  • Place pressure using a sterile gauze or clean cloth to control the bleeding. Take note that bleeding from most cases of turf burns typically settle in a few minutes of applying pressure, but weeping of clear fluid might continue after the bleeding has stopped.
  • Cleanse the turf burn with saline solution. Carefully rinse the area to disinfect the wound and get rid of any debris or dirt that might adhere to the damaged tissue. You can prepare a solution using ΒΌ teaspoon of non-iodized salt specifically Kosher or sea salt added to water. Avoid using iodine, peroxide or alcohol since it can cause unnecessary discomfort and further damage the skin.
  • Dab on a hydrogel liberally on the surface of the turf burn. The hydrogel keeps the injury moist while it is dressed which is a vital element of proper healing for the injury. The moist dressings significantly lessen the healing time, prevent infection and reduces the pain.
  • Wrap the turf burn with an occlusive dressing. This type of dressing provides a moist environment so that the injury can heal. Remember that any product that seals the area and maintains moisture promotes healing and prevent scabbing and scarring.
  • Change the dressings after 1-2 days to ensure that the injury remains moist and there are no indications of infection. Apply hydrogel and place a fresh occlusive dressing when reapplying the bandage. Most cases heal in a week if a moist dressing is used. If the abrasion is covered with new pink skin, the dressing can be removed.

Avoid re-injuring the turf burn by using a protective clothing over the area that is bandaged. In case the injury triggers intense pain or covers a large region of the body, seek medical care right away.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a turf burn is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly care for a turf burn, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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