Because this injury is very common in motorcycle-related accidents, riders should wear protective pads and covering. It can also be helpful to wear layers of clothing (with sleeves) to protect the skin.
However, the best way to avoid road rash is to be extra careful when driving a motorbike and bicycle.
Self-treatment for Road Rash Injury
The most common treatment for road rash is cleaning the affected area with mild soap and water. Some use antiseptic wash like hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound on the skin.
However, there are several contradicting studies about hydrogen peroxide. Some researchers believe it can retard the healing process as it also kills the microorganism responsible for repairing tissues. On the other hand, some doctors said it can be effective in disinfecting the skin.
For road rash that contains dirt and debris, it is important to remove these by gently rubbing the skin with a clean gauze, soap, and water. Do not rub the affected area vigorously to avoid damaging the tissue.
The wound should also be kept moist as it promotes healing and improves the formation of a new tissue. To do this, the abrasion should be covered by a semi-permeable dressing (e.g. Bioclusive, Tegaderm) that allows the skin to “breathe” while keeping away liquids.
For minor abrasions, a mixture of petroleum jelly and tea tree oil can be dabbed on the wound. This homemade remedy can promote healing as it keeps skin moist.
When the wound starts to heal, the affected area will look raw with a pinkish color. But after sometime, a new skin will form, replacing the damaged tissue.
Treatment for Serious Road Rash
Patients with a deep abrasion that has damaged the dermis (the deeper layer of the skin) should go to a doctor to avoid possible infection and severe scarring.
In some cases, doctors inject patients with anti-tetanus, especially to those who have their last booster shot 10 years ago (or those who are not sure of when is the last time they have anti-tetanus shot).
If the wound is bleeding excessively or there is a deep cut, a patient should put pressure on the area and immediately go to a doctor. The wound may require stitches to allow it to heal properly and avoid severe scarring.
By: Nemelou Despuez
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