While road rash can happen from many activities, such as falling while skateboarding or biking, the most severe road rash injuries are caused by motorcycle accidents. For this reason, motorcyclists are encouraged to wear thick leather riding gear to protect their skin against contact with the pavement. However, even when wearing proper clothing, sustaining road rash is still a possibility during a crash. If you’ve suffered road rash, treating your wounds properly is essential to avoid further complications.
What is Road Rash?
Road rash is an abrasion wound caused by a rough surface, such as the pavement, rubbing across your skin and causing damage. It is similar to chafing or a rug burn but much more severe. In motorcycle accidents, it often affects the extremities as the rider attempts to catch themselves as they are thrown from their bike. Road rash can cover large areas of the body in painful lacerations. If the abrasion removes many layers of skin, the wounds can become very deep, resulting in infection or extensive scarring if not treated properly.
What Steps Can You Take to Heal From Road Rash After an Accident?
You should always seek an evaluation from a medical professional after a motorcycle accident, even if your injuries appear minor. The doctor will likely clean and bandage your road rash and provide care instructions. Be sure to follow all your doctor’s advice and take any prescribed medication to ensure that you heal correctly.
While treating your road rash at home, you can take these steps to help speed your recovery:
- Wash your hands before touching the damaged area.
- Use an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and keep the skin moist to promote healing.
- Bandage the area to protect it and keep it clear of debris.
- Change the bandage frequently (at least once a day). If the dressing is stuck, a gentle saltwater solution can loosen it without causing more damage.
- If the wound becomes tight or itchy as it heals, moisturizer can be used to relieve the discomfort.
- Use OTC pain medication when needed.
When Should You See a Doctor?
After your initial medical evaluation, it is crucial to monitor the healing process of your road rash carefully. If you notice any indications of infection, such as persistent or worsening redness or warmth surrounding the affected area, discharge of pus, escalating pain, or the onset of a fever, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, can hinder the body’s ability to recover from a skin injury, potentially necessitating further medical intervention to ensure optimal healing. Moreover, if your wound fails to show signs of improvement within two to three weeks, it is advisable to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to reassess your treatment plan.
In situations where the motorcycle accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, it may be beneficial to consult a lawyer helping motorcycle accident victims. An experienced attorney can provide guidance and legal representation, assisting you in navigating the complexities of insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and pursuing compensation for your injuries. If you believe that your accident involved factors beyond your control, contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the support you deserve during the recovery process.