Well, as they say, it isn't if, it is when.... I crashed today on our club's group ride. I won't bore you with the details. The basics are someone crashed up ahead of me and it caught my attention and the person in front of me moved to the left and slowed down to get away from the crash and crossed my front wheel. Down I went and in a hurry. Shoulder hit first and then my head. I have a bit of road rash, but the shoulder is the worst as I know I at least sprained it. I don't know when I will be back on the bike but I expect to ride at least easy rides in a few days, but probably won't race at Sherman Park like I expected to. Anyway, it could have been a lot worse and my bike seems to be no worse for wear. I will take it to Spin Doctor Cyclewerks on Monday to get a full check to make sure there isn't any damage.
With that out of the way, one of the guys in the club has a lot more road rash. My wife helped him get acquanted with the more recent advances in wound care. He only had gauze on the wound which isn't the best. Anyway, here is a rundown in what I use for road rash based on personal experience as well as doctor care and my own personal research.
- If I have a very deep road rash wounds, I start by using non-stick gauze and silvadene creme. Silvadene is by prescription only, but doctors usually have no problems prescribing it. On top of being effective, the creme feels GREAT going on.
- If you aren't concerned about changing bandages often, you can start with Tegaderm, but normally I wait until my road rash isn't seeping a ton so I only have to change it every couple of days. The bandages aren't cheap, but there is nothing like them for effectiveness and simplicity. Tegaderm looks and acts like plastic wrap. It keeps the wound clean and moist which is what you want.
Remember that road rash is nothing but a burn and burns should be kept moist. Also, polysporen and neosporen should not be used. I forget why but it has something to do with killing not just bad bacteria but also inhibiting some of the body's normal healing processes.
By keeping the wound moist, you also minimize the scarring. If you let it go to scab, scarring will be dramatically increased. Speaking of letting it scab up, it will take a lot longer to heal if you let it go to scab, not to mention that the scab will get ripped off at some point and have to reheal itself at least once.
One drawback to Tegaderm and products like it is that you see the wonderful secretions from the wound. Some people can be grossed out by this, but I suggest either wearing pants and/or long sleeve shirts if that is the case.
One product I have tried that many people like is Duoderm. I found that Duoderm leaks too easily. I find with Tegaderm, you can tell when it is time to change the bandage (if you can call it that) to alleviate a "leak". The more margin you have when applying the initial Tegaderm, the longer you can leave it on.
Lastly, you can also find Tegaderm with a gauze pad in the bandage. I don't really think this is anymore effective except that they cover up the secretions so others aren't grossed out.
Please feel free to comment on this post with your own suggestions or comments.