Road rash is that burn/skin abrasion that results from falling off or being thrown from a motorcycle and making contact with the ground.
Road rash is classified as a scrape, a skin wound that rubs or tears off skin. The severity of road rash can be measured by degree. First-degree road rash presents with skin redness and needs no treatment. Second-degree road rash results when the outer layer of skin breaks but can heal itself with minimal scarring. Third-degree road rash needs professional medical attention as quickly as possible. Third-degree occurs when the skin comes off and opens up, revealing underlying tissue.
Home treatment is all that may be needed to care for the wound if the road rash scrapes are minor, said WebMD.
Here are the steps for treating road rash after a motorcycle accident.
Assess the damage
Motorcyclists should move themselves and their cycle away from any danger before evaluating the wound. The next step is to clean the wound and stop the bleeding with direct pressure to it. Look closely at the injuries. If other tissues, such as blood vessels, nerves, tendons, bones, or internal organs have been injured, seek a health care professional if one is determined to be needed. The best time to treat skin abrasion injuries is immediately after they happen.
Clean the wound
Remove any dirt or debris as this can cause infections, like bacterial skin infections and tetanus. Cleaning the wound will also decrease scarring, and prevent skin “tattooing.” The tattooing can occur if dirt or other debris is not removed from a scrape and new skin heals over it. As WebMD describes, it, the dirt can be seen through the new skin and mistaken for a tattoo.
To clean the wound, the University of Arizona recommends using a mild antibacterial soap. Gently, but thoroughly, cleanse any dirt from the wound area. Gently use tweezers or a cotton tip applicator to remove any embedded debris. Doing this while soaking the wound in warm water makes it easier. Gently blot it dry with a towel
Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the clean wound. This creates a moist layer over the wound that prevents it from becoming rigid and cracking when you move. Keep applying the ointment two or three times a day until the wound turns pink.
Bandage and protect the wound
Cover the wound with a loose non-stick gauze. A moisture barrier covering such as a DuoDerm can be used. Keep wounds covered until they heal (about seven to twelve days). Change your dressings at least once a day and check for signs of infection. Spreading redness, swelling, an increase in pain, pus or foul smelling drainage are all of these are signs of infection and if they’re present, you should consult a doctor immediately.
How the scrape will heal depends on its depth, size, and location.