The treatment for road rash is similar to caring for burns. It is important to note that road rash is a commonly used term for rubbing off part or all of the skin in a particular region of the body. Medically, this injury is called as skin abrasion.
What are the symptoms of road rash?
Road rash is an area on the body in which the skin has been scraped off. The affected area often appears raw and might bleed minimally. In most cases, road rash can be very painful. In some circumstances, the depth of the wound can cause damage to the nerve cells. These individuals will not have any sensation, including pain in the deepest areas of the road rash.
Nevertheless, the skin surrounding the edges of the road rash is still extremely painful.
Treatment of road rash
A severe case of road rash must be carefully assessed by a doctor. Most cases of road rash can be treated on the spot.
- Always stay safe. In case the individual is unconscious, do not attempt to move him/her unless the area is not safe.
- Life-threatening injuries should be treated first. Remember that road rash is not usually life-threatening, but it can be frightening to look at. Do not allow the presence of raw, bleeding wounds to distract you from ensuring that the individual is breathing and control bleeding first.
- Control the bleeding first. In most cases, road rash oozes instead of gushing out blood. Apply minimal pressure using a bandage will work.
- Make sure that you will rinse the road rash using soapy water, maybe under minimal pressure to get rid of the debris and dirt out of the wound. It is also beneficial to soak the wound in soapy water before attempting to remove the debris and you might have to gently brush hard-to-remove debris. In rare circumstances, it might be required to remove debris using tweezers if possible and should be done by a doctor.
- Cover the wound using gauze and wrap it to secure in place. You can utilize dry dressings. An alternative is to moisten the first layer of the dressing using saline solution or sterile water, but do not apply an antibiotic ointment. In case a layer of damp dressing is used, cover with dry gauze before it is wrapped up.
Any wound that is bigger than the palm of the individual’s hand must be assessed by a doctor. Remember that road rash can cause a lot of pain. Any road rash on the hands, face, feet or genitals should be assessed by a doctor.
Infected road rash
It is vital to change dressings once a day at least and observe for signs of infection such as the following:
- Swelling and increasing redness
- Increasing pain after the first day
- Fluid or pus draining from the wound
Once any of these symptoms are present, the individual should consult a doctor for proper assessment and treatment of the infection.