How to Treat Carpet Burns

You love your carpet, right? But how much do you love it when you accidentally fall, and end up with carpet burns? Not so much then.

Whether you call them carpet burns or rug burns or something else, it all adds up to the same thing – a horrible friction burn on your skin. Sometimes, they can be treated with antibiotic ointment, and you just go about your day, but other times, they can get infected, and then things get pretty nasty.

How Bad Is a Carpet Burn?

Usually, a carpet burn is shallow, but it can be spread over quite a big area. Usually, you get them on your elbows, hips, or knees, since these are the parts of your body that typically hit the floor when you fall.

The trouble is that when you get a carpet burn, because of where it’s located, it doesn’t heal quickly. Also, you often end up having dirt mixed into the injury – either because of dirty carpet (hence the term “carpet burn”) or dirt on other surfaces like playing fields. Bacteria has a great opportunity to invade these sorts of injuries, and that’s why they’re so prone to infection.


If you get a carpet burn, and you don’t seek medical attention, infection is a very real possibility, as it is with any type of wet, open wound. If the wound doesn’t scab over, it’s going to continue to be raw and sore, and might become infected. Then it starts to leak pus, and that’s just beyond nasty!

Don’t Panic 

Keep the wound clean. It’s probably going to secrete fluid, and if the fluid is clear, that’s not a big deal. If it’s yellowish or greenish, though, that means that the wound has become infected. Then, you can end up in quite a bit of pain.

Treating Carpet Burns

The first thing you should do is take a good long bath to clean out the wound. Then, allow it to be exposed to the air – don’t bandage it up. Ideally, with exposure to the air, it will scab over. If it doesn’t, you risk further infection from additional contaminants.

See a Doctor

If the wound becomes even more painful, or if the affected area begins to swell, then things have gone beyond what you can treat at home. You need to see a doctor.

The Final Word

If you have a carpet burn, keep the area clean and dry. You can use a topical ointment if you like, but if things get out of hand and the area begins to swell, this is no longer a job for “home doctoring.” You need to see a pro, without delay.