Turf Burn Causes, Prevention, Treatment, Healing Tips

Turf Burn: Causes, Prevention, Treatment & Healing Tips

Most people may have heard of or seen turf burn one way or another, and most people probably do not know what turf burn is or what causes turf burn. Probably because they do not care about learning what turf burn is and how to treat turf burn.

Still, if you or your children play any sports on artificial turf — or if you have a toddler who falls often or rough-house on indoor carpeting — then turf burn is something you should know about, especially how to tear it.

If you’ve ever had turf or rug burn, you know it stings and can hurt very terribly. Turf burns are usually a result of falling hard on the turf surface and causing bruises to the outer layers of your skin.

What is a Turf?

Turf is grass. When collected into rolls, this grass is joined together by its roots and a thin layer of soil. There are two types of turf: natural and artificial turf, made of natural grass, and artificial grasses.

What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is one of the most common turfs in football fields, a children’s playgrounds. Aside from that, they are being used in homes, and balconies are also suitable venues for parties or other social events that require a setting with a view.

Artificial turf has become more popular because they do not come with the problems of natural turf.

Natural turf brings about muddy feet, scraped knees, and damaged grass.

Artificial turf is a choice that schools and communities face every time a new playing field is built or refurbished.

An artificial lawn pitch is made using a previous system with a porous membrane and sub-layer, allowing surface water drainage into the base.

Artificial turfs are usually related to turf burns, and this is because their surface is made of synthetic fibers.

The issue lies in the various plastics and materials that make up the turf and the infill used to prevent injuries.

What is Turf Burn?

Turf burn is a painful bruise that may happen while carrying out any sporting activities on synthetic turf or lawn. The contact of the turf against the uncovered part of the body produces red bruises when a person trips hard on the turf.

Possibly, turf burns occur on the arms, knees, palms of the hands, and thighs.

Turf burn is like an injury caused by friction rather than heat. Friction may bring skin layers peeling off, likely bringing about an open wound. Turf burn may cover a big or small part of your skin.

However, this depends mainly on how hard you fall. These bruises are occasionally painful and may lead to additional issues on the skin.

The thing about turf burns is that they are susceptible to infection. When you look at turf burns, you see raspberry-type injuries; they don’t bleed much. Blood is how our body cleanses the skin; cleaning off the blood with turf burns is essential.

The cleaning can be done by scrubbing the skin’s surface with soapy water.

Turf burns can also lead to infections because they damage the skin’s protective barriers. Recognizing what turf burn looks like, its signs, how to treat turf burn, and how to prevent it from happening to others is very important for safety purposes.

Also read: How To Remove Stretch Marks Fast At Home

What are the Causes of Turf Burn

Turf burn results from the friction of skin rubbing against a turf. In some cases, it can bring severe burning of the outer layers of skin, and this is due to the heat produced by friction during contact.

Turf burns can happen when any kind of fall onto the artificial turfs occurs. When you fall on artificial turfs, there is a high risk of new turf burns on different body parts like the arms, knees, palms of the hands, and thighs.

How to Prevent Turf Burn

If you actively participate in sporting activities or have children who love playing, there is little to nothing you can do to prevent turf burns.

Each time there is any fall onto the artificial turfs, there is a high risk of new turf burns in a different part of the body.

While it is hard to prevent turf burns, some prevention methods can apply to reduce turf burns.

Below are some of the ways to avoid burns on turf;

  • wearing protective gear (like clothing that does not expose too much skin, such as long-sleeve shirts, spandex shorts, and long socks.)
  • Wearing shin pads, especially for individuals who play soccer and field hockey or any sports that make a person prone to leg injuries. To further increase the safety of turn burns on the leg, wearing long socks over the shin pads will help immensely.
  • In addition to preventing turf burns, some studies recommend using sliding pads or sticky bandages to create a barricade between the skin and the turf.

How to Treat Turf Burn

Turf burn can be quite painful and, in some cases, quite severe. The severity of the turf burn is determined by the size of the body parts affected. Diagnosis always includes a physical examination and other diagnostic procedures.

Treatment should be based on ensuring that the bruise remains clean and on ways to ensure no risk of infection by using nonstick dressings, antibiotic ointments, or aloe vera.

Humans often do not think or give attention to many things when caring for a specific health issue until we are already faced with a problem.

Still, the great thing is that you can easily make a wound treatment care pack (first-aid) put in place if the need arrives later when it is least expected. The treatment goals are to reduce scarring, prevent infection, and function.

Below are what to do if you or your wards suffer from these burns.

Start by cleaning your hands: 

Whenever there is a break in the skin, there is a risk for an infection, so if your hands are clean, you won’t be spreading the infection to this open wound.

Clean with Soap and Water: If there is any dirt, grit, particles, or pebbles, you might want to get them out with water and soap that does not contain triclosan or fragrances.

Usually, rubbing it would get it out with a kind of washcloth. Although it does not feel that great, it will still get all those particles out.

You do not want to keep those participles therein as they could also lead to an infection of the wound.

Alternatively, you can easily use the tool to pick up objects too small to handle with human fingers (specifical tweezers). However, before using the tweezers, you should wash them in alcohol before using them to pluck out the particles we mentioned earlier.

Apply Antibiotic Ointment on the Injury: 

Once everything is clean, and there is no more grit or anything like that on the injury, you can apply antibiotic ointment.

Cover the wound with a Bandage: 

After applying antibiotic ointment to the injury, you can cover it up with a bandage.

To ensure that no infection or anything that can cause infection gets into the injury, you might need to change the bandage once a day or whenever it gets or gets dirty.

Start watching it every day after you have covered the bruise, and if you see any signs of infection like puss, redness or swelling, or anything out of the ordinary, you might have to talk and see what you can do about that.

How to not Treat Turf Burn

Whenever there is a case of injury, people tend to rush to the internet for possible ways to treat a wound. While there are many guides online that may help treat your wound, there are some that will be bad and may end up causing you more problems.

When treating a turf burn, kindly resist the urge or any internet guide that advises you to use hydrogen peroxide on the bruise. This is not because hydrogen peroxide is not an effective antibacterial solution.

However, it is because hydrogen peroxide interrupts healthy tissue and causes a delay in the quick healing of the injury. So, do not pour hydrogen peroxide on cuts and wounds for any reason.

In addition, antibacterial soaps should not be used on your injury. After cleaning, use mild pressure to stop bleeding; elevate the area if necessary.

Turf Burn Healing Tips

Suppose you are a sportsman who plays football, soccer, or hockey or engages in any other sporting activities that may likely make a collision with another player or fall, resulting in minor bruises or scratches on some areas of your body. You may want to speed up your healing process to return to the turf quickly. 

One of the many ways to quickly heal up the bruised part of your body is to prevent infection, which may prolong the healing process.

You can use many methods to fasten up the healing of a turf burn and lower the risk of infection. Some of these methods include;

  • washing of your hands before touching the bandages or the wounds
  • washing the wound with mild soap (without triclosan or fragrances in it) and water
  • keeping the burn clean and free of any dirt, grit, particles, or pebbles
  • keeping the bruised area moist with hydrogel
  • putting a wound dressing beneath the bandage to promote healing
  • replacing the dressing every day or when it is wet or dry
  • using antibiotic ointment on the burn before covering it
  • Use manuka honey to fight infection and speed healing (avoid using commercial kinds of honey as they are not the same and may not even be pure honey).


Turf burns are inevitable for athletes carrying out their sporting activities on artificial turfs, and few things can be done to prevent them. However, it is still better to try the methods available as they will significantly help in some cases.

If you see any sign that your turf burn has been infected, you must see your doctor for adequate treatment. Infection of a wound could prolong the healing process; without proper treatment, one’s overall health could be at risk.

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