Posted on September 27, 2018 in General
Road rash refers to a type of abrasion from contact with asphalt or other road materials, usually in a motorcycle or bicycle accident. It is a painful injury that can involve dirt and debris in wounds and under the skin, with a high risk of infection. It is important to take proper care of your road rash injury for a fast recovery. Otherwise, you may need further treatment for an infection. Follow these steps after an accident to properly treat a road rash wound.
Assess Yourself for Worse Injuries
Motorcycle accidents are often serious and can cause life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common are bone fractures, contusions, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and spine injuries. After a crash, check yourself for injuries beyond just road rash. If you notice you feel dizzy, sore, or otherwise not right, go to the hospital for professional medical treatment. Then, inspect the area affected by road rash.
Road rash can describe just a simple abrasion, but the injury could run deeper or be more severe than it looks on the surface. Visually inspect the injury or have someone do so for you if you can’t see the area. If you can see anything in the wound that looks like exposed muscle, tendons, or fat, see a doctor. These abrasions are too deep to care for on your own and may require skin-graft surgery for proper treatment.
You should also go to the hospital if you have not had a tetanus shot in a while. Tetanus is a type of infection from bacteria found in dirt, dust, and manure. Tetanus is a very real risk after suffering a road rash injury, since foreign particles from the road can lodge in the wound. Even if you don’t contract tetanus, road rash injuries with lodged debris can lead to traumatic tattooing – permanent scars from rubble or asphalt in the skin. If you aren’t sure about your injury, go to the hospital.
Clean and Debride Your Wound at Home
If your road rash injury did not penetrate your top layer of skin, you may be able to self-treat the wound. First, wash your hands with soap before touching your injury. This can help prevent bacteria from getting into the scrapes. Then, wash the road rash thoroughly. Use a flushing product that contains a painkiller, such as lidocaine, if possible. Otherwise, use a solution of water and mild soap.
If you are unable to deal with the pain or remove all foreign debris, see a doctor. Complete cleaning is necessary to avoid infection. Wash your road rash daily, as the goal is to keep it clean and moist at all times. Once the area is clean and free from dirt, dead skin, and debris, pat it dry gently with a soft, clean towel.
Apply a layer of antibiotic to help prevent infection. Bacitracin and Brulidine are two good options for road rash injuries. Then, cover the wound with a non-adherent dressing, such as gauze, ace bandages, or cohesive bandages. A good choice is Tegaderm, a semipermeable transparent dressing that is adhesive on one side. Tegaderm is breathable and comfortable, keeping the wound clean and dulling pain. You may want to consider taking pain medication while your wound heals.
Most road rash abrasions heal within two weeks. If yours is taking longer, go to a doctor for reevaluation. Your injury could be deeper than you thought, or it might have an infection. Signs of an infection include redness, red streaks, and swelling around the injury, as well as drainage or pus from the wound. Symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, and muscle aches can also point to an infection. Go to a doctor immediately if you suspect infection.
If your accident was caused by a negligent driver contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale today. We will help you get the compensation you deserve.