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Treating road rash after a motorcycle accident

One of the most common injuries after a motorcycle accident is "road rash." The scrapes and cuts that a rider can suffer after being thrown across an asphalt or concrete road can be incredibly painful and hard to heal.

While any serious abrasions should always be checked over and treated by a physician, there are some home treatments for road rash that you can use:

1. Cleanse and wrap the wound.

You should always keep wound care treatment on hand, including a sterile wash. Soap and water can also be used if you don't have anything else. Don't use peroxide, however. That can actually damage the skin and make healing harder.

Use gauze wraps against the damaged skin to protect it while it heals. Change the gauze daily, when it gets dirty and after showering. A layer of Coban around the gauze will provide an easy, complete bandage.

2. Use ice to dull the pain.

Whether you keep soft ice packs on hand or resort to frozen peas, ice can help soothe the pain from minor road rash injuries. Don't put the ice pack directly on your skin. Wrap it in a towel first.

You can also use ice to numb your skin a little prior to changing your bandages or cleaning the area — which may be helpful if the pain is really intense.

3. Don't rush to uncover the wound.

Completely healing your wounds may take several weeks, but you need to keep them covered for up to 10 days in order to guard against infection and new injuries. It's normal for a white plaque to form over the wound. This is granulation tissue and is part of the healing process. It should remain slightly moist to the touch, and you should leave it alone as much as possible. It will eventually disappear on its own as your skin heals.

It can take a long time for a motorcycle injury to fully heal. Complications are common with injuries over large expanses of skin. If you experience significant injuries and/or financial losses due to your motorcycle accident, it may be wise to consider all your choices for recovery.

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