Skin abrasions or road rash are common during sports that are typically caused by falling on a hard rough surface. As an individual falls or slides on the ground, friction causes the skin layer to rub off. The skin is comprised of an exterior layer which provides protection and the deeper interior layer which provides flexibility and firmness to the skin. Skin abrasions are injuries that involve the removal of these skin layers.
Individuals who engage in cycling refer to abrasions from crashes as road rash. Once a bike crashes, it has the potential to cause a sore and severe abrasion. Most cases of skin abrasions are superficial scrapes that do not extend into the dermis and only cause minimal bleeding. Even though there is often minimal or no blood loss from an abrasion, there is substantial pain due to the several nerve endings that were exposed.
Treatment for skin abrasions
The usual mode of treatment for skin abrasions and road rash include cleansing the wound using mild soap and water or a mild antiseptic wash such as hydrogen peroxide. An antibiotic ointment is applied over the wound and wrapped with dry dressing. Nevertheless, it was discovered that the use of antiseptics such as hydrogen peroxide can actually cause harm to the tissues and disrupt the healing process.
Even though a severe skin abrasion must be assessed by a doctor, there are measures that you can do to promote healing. Initially, since skin abrasions are at risk for infection, you have to clean the area thoroughly and remove any debris or dirt. Ideally, you can irrigate the area using a non-toxic surfactant specifically Shur-clens or 0.9 sodium chloride. If needed, you can utilize clean gauze to gently scrub the area. Just avoid rubbing vigorously since it might only cause more tissue damage.
Dressing the wound
Once the skin is cleaned, you can utilize a semipermeable dressing such as Tegaderm to cover the wound and attach the dressing to dry skin using adhesive tape. The dressing should be changed every few days. You have to keep the abrasion damp until it has fully healed. A moist setting supports healing, improves the formation of tissues as well as protecting the area from possible infection and scarring.
Antiseptic healing ointment
An antiseptic healing ointment specifically made by Brave Soldier offers a unique combination of natural botanicals that promotes fast healing of the wound and reduces scarring.
A tetanus shot is vital in order to avoid infection. If the individual is uncertain when he/she had the last tetanus shot or if the last booster shot was more than 10 years ago, it is best to get one.
Caring for deep cuts
While cleaning a skin abrasion, you have to check for any deep cuts that might require stitches to properly heal. Cuts that continue to bleed after 15 minutes of direct pressure or those that extend deep into the skin and have ripped edges might require stitches.