Road rash! We've all had it or had a friend or teammate get it from a crash. Road rash hurts and can take you out of action for extended periods. If not taken care of properly it can keep you away from training and negatively influence your training. Here are some tips for properly caring for road rash:
1. Christy Duran MD with the Family Clinic of Fort Collins says "the initial cleaning is crucial - first soak the wound with peroxide (this is the only time you will want to use peroxide or it can actually delay wound healing) then wash with soap and water and a lot of scrubbing.
2. Duran also says keep the wound covered and moist with antibiotic ointment. Letting a wound dry out is painful and can limit range of motion. Try using a product like "Tegaderm" or similar.
3. Change your dressing every 24hrs. Leaving them on too long can create a situation where they dry out and then stick. Prying stuck bangages off is painfull and can slow down healing as you're reopening the wound. Its important to cleanse the wound before you redress it too.
4. Dr. Duran says return to activity as you can. If it hurts don't do it. Unless you're in the middle of a stage race, take it slow since a tired body heals more slowly.
I like to joke that there are two types of cyclists: those who have crashed and those who will crash. Road rash is a hazard of riding your bike. If you should have an accident though, following these tips can help you get back in the saddle sooner.