a woman applying antiseptic ointment on turf burn

Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention of Turf Burn

Turf Burn

In recent years, artificial grass has improved to the point where it is becoming increasingly popular as a sports field. It does, however, carry the risk of turf burn. Turf may be a safer alternative to grass in various aspects. During the winter, for example, it provides greater cushioning than grass. 

Turf burn, on the other hand, is a big disadvantage of playing on this surface. Injury is likely to result from a fall onto the turf. Football, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey are some of the most popular turf sports. 

What exactly is turf burn? 

  • Turf burn is a type of damage caused by friction rather than heat. The contact of the turf against exposed skin generates red abrasions when people fall hard on the turf. 
  • Friction can cause skin layers to peel away, potentially resulting in an open wound. Turf burn is excruciatingly unpleasant, and touching it will almost certainly sting. 
  • The thighs, knees, palms of the hands, and arms are more susceptible to turf burn. Depending on the descent, it can be enormous or little. 

Treatment 

  • Turf burn must be treated right away if it is to heal properly. Using a basic first aid kit, a medic or teammate can treat the grass burn on the spot. 
  • Turf burn should be treated as soon as possible to limit the risk of infection. People who participate in sports are more likely to develop skin infections as a result of repeated skin abrasions. Increased physical contact with other people and shared equipment can also raise the risk of transmission. 
  • Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus thrive in skin wounds (staph). Staph bacteria can be found on everyone's skin. 
  • The bacteria can enter the body and cause an infection if the skin breaks. It is recommended that people do not touch the burn with their bare hands. 

The following steps can be used to treat a turf burn: 

  • Before cleansing the wound, wash your hands and, if feasible, wear sterile gloves. 
  • If the wound is bleeding, firmly apply a clean bandage or dressing to the burn until it stops bleeding. 
  • If available, clean the wound with a saline solution or water and mild soap to remove any sand and grime. To limit the risk of infection, it is critical to remove all dirt and debris, even if it is unpleasant. 
  • To avoid infection, apply an antibiotic ointment. If an antibiotic ointment is not available, aloe vera is a good substitute. 
  • Aloe vera is a cooling plant that also works like a microbial barrier. It may possibly have wound-healing effects. If topical ointment or aloe vera is too painful, simply cover the lesion with a clean, dry bandage. 
  • Cover the wound with a non-stick medical dressing. 
  • A breathable cotton bandage should be used to cover the dressing. The dressing will be held in place by the bandage. 

Tips for healing 

People can hasten the healing of a grass burn and reduce the danger of infection by doing the following: 

  • Keeping the burn clean and clear of dust and debris using hydrogel to keep the wound moist placing a wound dressing underneath the bandage to facilitate healing changing the dressing every day before covering the burn with an aloe vera gel, antiseptic cream, or antibiotic ointment 
  • Before touching the wound or bandages, wash your hands. 

Prevention

  • Turf burns are difficult to avoid. The players risk receiving new turf burns every time they fall onto the fake turf. 
  • Wearing protective clothing that does not expose too much flesh, such as long sleeve shirts, spandex shorts, and long socks, can help prevent turf burns. 
  • Shin pads can provide additional protection, especially in sports like soccer and field hockey which are prone to leg injuries. Long socks worn over shin pads can help protect the legs from turf burns even more. 

According to certain studies, sliding pads or sticky bandages can be used to create a barrier between the skin and the turf. 

What are the chances of turf burning? 

Turf burn can be totally healed in a couple of weeks with adequate home treatment. If at all possible, avoid sports until the sore has healed, otherwise you risk reinjuring the area and delaying your recuperation. 

Infections can be avoided by keeping the place safe and clean. Periodically check the area for early signs of infection as the sore heals. These may include excessive redness, discomfort, or pus. Don't dismiss any indicators of infection. 

Turf burn can lead to a staph infection. The staphylococcus bacteria causes several infections. This bacterium lives on the surface of the skin, but it can enter the body through scrapes and cuts. If a staph infection gets into your bloodstream, it can be fatal. If you feel you may have a staph infection, make sure you understand the indications and get to the doctor right once. Among the signs and symptoms are: 

  • worsening redness and pain 
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • joint and muscle pain

When should you see a doctor? 

It is critical to see a doctor as soon as the grass burn becomes infected. An infection can spread to other sections of the body if not treated properly, putting the person's entire health in danger. There's also the possibility that bacteria like staph might spread to other players. An infection's indications and symptoms include:

  • Reddening of the skin, 
  • inflammation, 
  • swelling, 
  • discomfort, 
  • blisters, 
  • fever
  • pus leaking 

It may take a few weeks for a grass burn to heal, but it normally does not leave a scar.

Take Away

It's possible that you'll continue to suffer turf burns if you continue to play sports on artificial grass. If at all feasible, use protective clothing when playing soccer, football, hockey, or any other sport to avoid this.