What do you do to cure road rash more quickly after a crash?

  • Crashes are an inevitability in cycling. This weekend, I hit a 4" stick on my bike. It flipped over, stuck in the spokes of my front wheel and did this to it:



    alt text



    It stopped my bike really quickly and I wound up flying over the handlebars, and earned a trip to the local ER where they spent an hour scrubbing the road out of my face, arms and shoulder.



    So what tips and tricks do you folks have for recovering quickly (and without scarring) from road rash?


    I would, of course, follow the advice the ER gave you! Can you please reformat this question to be less of a discussion-board-style post, so it's asking a single question?

    Wow, look at that wheel! Was the rest of the bike ok? (and glad that you were able to walk away from this with only road rash)

    @neilfein would love to make it a better question - I notice that you added the medical tag (which I couldn't do because I don't have enough karma). I thought it was asking a single question - would it help if I made the title more about road rash? @darkcanuck - thanks!

    @John: I think so. Part of the problem is that the SO format requires asking a question with a single, exact answer, but we can't do that here as much as we'd like -- bicycles aren't lines of code, which is what SO was designed for. Just do the best you can, so that the question has a chance of being answered reasonably well. Thanks for being responsive, and I hope you feel better!

    When you went to ER, how did they dress the wound?

    The rash on my arms and shoulder were dressed using Tegaderm. The worst part was on the right side of my face which they advised to keep uncovered. The internet disagreed with this advice so I wound up using Spenco Second Skin gel bandages. They really made a large difference in healing.

  • user313

    user313 Correct answer

    11 years ago

    Wow! That looks like a horrid crash.



    There are some newer ideas on road rash healing. My doctor recommended that I NOT use Neosporin type ointments. The reason being that it only has an affect on the superficial layers of the wound and that infection, if it occurs, will be in the deeper layers; and also that topicals are shown to interfere with wound healing. He also told me not to use hydrogen peroxide as it damages tissue. The keys to healing and preventing scarring are to keep the wounds clean and moist.



    The advice I got from my physician (who is a cyclist) is pretty much the same as the advice here on freewheel.com.



    According to the article and my doc:



    After a proper cleaning it's recommended to apply an application of a hydrocolloid or semiocclusive hydrogel dressing.



    "A moist healing environment is provided by the dressing... Two basic options fulfill this requirement."



    Semipermeable film dressings, such as Bioclusive (Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey) andTegaderm (3M Company, St Paul), in combination with semiocclusive hydrogels such as Spenco 2nd Skin (Spenco Medical Corp, Waco, Texas). These dressings are impermeable to water and bacteria but allow the exudate to evaporate."



    Hydrocolloidal dressings. Examples of hydrocolloidal dressings are Duoderm (ConvaTec, SkiUman, New Jersey) and Cutinova hydro (Beiersdorf, Inc, Norwalk, Connecticut).


    Would probably be better to paraphrase the key portions of the answer from freewheel (still leaving the link in) instead of quoting a whole bunch. In particular, the really useful specific product suggestions are buried at the end of the second paragraph. I've heard great things about hydrocolloid dressings before.

    This answer hits the nail on the head. I've used Tegaderm in the past, and it makes a huge difference. The biggest problem with Tegaderm is that if the wound is weeping a lot, then you'll get a lot of nastiness dripping out of the sides of the patch. That's where Duoderm comes in... it works like Tegaderm, but will absorb a lot of the nastiness.

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