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Treating Severe Road Rash Following a Motorcycle Crash


The average car driver might assume that motorcyclists wear leather for looks or to appear tough, but leather jackets and pants serve a much more important function than making a fashion statement—leather and other protective riding gear protects motorcyclists from road rash in the event of a crash, as proven by research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, dressing in head to toe leather, textile, or armored gear is uncomfortable on hot days, and is simply not going to happen every time you go out for a ride. Furthermore, simply because drivers are texting behind the wheel and hopping from one lane to the next without checking their mirrors does not mean that motorcyclists should have to wrap themselves in bubble wrap. Unfortunately, crashes always seem to happen when the rider is least prepared, and road rash can be extensive when the crash occurs at high speed, with or without leather or textile protection.

What is Road Rash?

Road rash is simply the term used to describe lacerations to the skin when you roll and slide on the pavement or dirt road. It may or may not bleed, but leaves the skin pink or red due to the outermost layers being rubbed off by friction. The larger the body surface area of the road rash, the more painful and debilitating it is. Road rash can take weeks to heal when properly treated, and months in cases of improper treatment. Road rash also leaves scars, and can even become infected if not cleaned regularly.

Seek Emergency Medical Care

It goes without saying that motorcyclists who suffer the most serious crashes do not have a choice when it comes to going to the hospital, they are taken away by an ambulance or life flight. Medical professionals will treat the most serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, first, and tend to your other wounds when you are more stable. However, severe road rash may require skin grafts, according to Healthline. Infections can cause risk of death or loss of limb, which is why serious cases of road rash must be treated by a doctor and carefully monitored.

Use Tegaderm or Other Breathable Bandages

The body’s method of healing road rash is to form a scab over the wound, protecting the area from the elements with congealed blood and other fluids. However, whenever you shower or get the scab wet, it comes off (along with some of the newly formed skin tissue) and a new scab must form. This process of scabbing over can cause deep and severe road rash injuries to take months to fully heal. Furthermore, scabs form with or without being covered by conventional bandages, wraps, and large band-aids because conventional bandages allow the injury to dry out too much. A better method is to use a breathable yet water-resistant bandage, which keeps the injury moist and scab-free, and allows the skin to heal without a scab. Waterproof bandages work with smaller surface area road rash, while Tegaderm—a clear plastic-like material that sticks directly to the wound without any other adhesives or tape—can be placed on larger wounds. Tegarderm can stay on for days at a time, speeding healing by weeks. 

Clean Your Wounds Regularly 

Cleaning wounds initially with a medical scrub brush is necessary to remove dirt, rocks, dead tissue, and other debris. Cleaning the wound with soap and warm water, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic ointment is necessary right after the injury occurs, and in the weeks to follow. With Tegaderm, the bandage can be left on for two or three (or more) days at at time, but while with types of bandages usually need to be replaced daily.

Call an Orlando Attorney Immediately

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash due to a driver’s negligence, you deserve compensation. However, you must work with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney for fair financial compensation. Call the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at Payer Law today at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation.



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