How to Care for Road Rash | Guide

Make sure you check out my previous post on how I got my road rash HERE!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I did not go to the hospital following my accident, so follow at your discretion and seek immediate attention if you think you have an infection/broken bones/concussion/etc. Listen to your body!

Step 1 – Immediately after the accident, wash your wound! This will hurt but you need to remove any dirt and gravel that might be stuck on your wound. It should be numb anyway, so tough it out and use a gentle cloth or brush. Use antibacterial soap, similar to soap that you would use to clean a new tattoo, and gently scrub the surrounding area. If you have long nails, and once your skin has been soaked and is soft enough you can scratch/scrape any loose dirty skin right off (sounds gross, but soaked skin is easy to peel off).

Step 2 – Pat dry and apply hydrogen peroxide to the wound. Warning: it’s suggested to not use too much and too frequently as it inhibits the growth of new cells and slows down the healing time. I only sprayed the area twice a day the first two days. And then once or twice when I decided to let the wound “breathe” about a week and a half after the accident.

Step 3 – After the wound has dried, apply a coat of Neosporin over top.

The cheap way to recover – use nonstick gauze and wrap your wound each night. Repeat steps 1 – 3  every day (less scrubbing after the first night if you don’t see anymore dirt).

The expensive way to recover – use hydrocolloid bandages (or second skin bandages). A hydrocolloid bandage helps keep the wound moist and heal from the inside out without scabbing up. The bandage serves as a second skin that prevents a scab from forming and leaving a scar. Brands like Duoderm are available on Amazon in packs of 10 or 20 and can ship the next day!

duoderm-xtra-thin-dressing-4x4-3


I used a combination of both to recover on my arm and knee.

It was uncomfortable to have my arm bandaged, due to work attire, so I opted to let that wound dry out after the second day. I started to feel a burning sensation the first week when it was drying up and rubbing with my clothes, but by the end of the week it developed into a scab. It started flaking off around the 7th day and now I have a light pink scar after the second week.

My knee was a bit more complicated since I had road rash AND a deep gash. The first 2 days, I was limping and was bruised all around the knee. After day 3, I could walk normally and the only pain occurred when I touched the wound.  I followed steps 1 – 3 during the first three days and followed the cheap way to recover. I wasn’t seeing any difference in recovery (and it still looked gross) so I decided to buy Duoderm bandages on Amazon, that arrived on Thursday (accident occurred that prior Sunday).

I cut one 4×4 bandage in half and placed it over the wound. I was a little bit concerned if it was doing its job, and since I had a trip to Vegas planned, I replaced the bandage Saturday morning (you’re supposed to leave it on for 4 days). While in Vegas I lounged by the pool (didn’t wet the knee area, only my shin/calf), and was out in the sun most of the days. I don’t think its 100% waterproof, but it help up fine in the shower those 3 days. By the time I got home that Monday, I changed the dressing again and noticed the wound was moist and less red on the area around the gash. Still looked disgusting though.

I left the wound covered until Wednesday night and decided to “let it breathe” as it wasn’t bruised, sore, or tender to the touch anymore. The road rash area surrounding the gash started to scab up slightly and heal pretty quickly. The gash scabbed up thick and made it uncomfortable to bend my knee too much. By the following Monday, 2 weeks after the accident, the gash is still scabbed but the surrounding area seemed to heal normally, and even less noticeable than the road rash I got on my arm. So I guess the Duoderm really did help the healing/scarring process.

The pictures below is 3 weeks after the accident, and after I peeled off the scab that had formed on the gash.

It’s been about 1 month now, and my knee is in the final stages of healing. The only scab left is on the gash, and the road rash surrounding it has healed completely. I will note though, that I have little to no feeling on my knee. It’s not tender to the touch, it just feels numb. Did some research and I have damaged nerve endings that take longer to heal. The numbness should go away in a few more weeks.

Here’s my battle wound on October 3rd, officially 44 days after the accident (please excuse the hair LOL).img_9580

Have any of you found tips or tricks that helped you recover quicker/easier? Hopefully this won’t happen again, but at least I feel better knowing what to expect in the future.

Ride Safe!

-kim

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