What Is Road Rash?

What Is Road Rash? Motorcycle riders have a constant risk of developing road rash. If a car, truck, or other motorcycle strikes your bike, there’s a very good chance you’ll go down and slide along the hard asphalt. Any type of accident or collision can cause a motorcyclist to make contact with unforgiving road surfaces. These falls and slides can cause skin abrasions, especially if you’re not wearing protective clothing.

All motorcyclists should understand the basics for treating road rash, as it’s a common injury. Minor cases can usually be treated with at-home care, or by using first aid on the scene. Riders should be cautious and carry a first-aid kit with them to handle minor cases. If the rash is severe, however, you need to seek emergency medical help.

In minor cases of road rash, the top layer of skin is removed, showing the second layer underneath. In more severe cases, surgeries including skin grafting may be required. People with this injury may experience constant pain, along with scarring and disfigurement.

According to Verywell Health, road rash symptoms include:

  • The skin will be red, inflamed, and raw. Bleeding is likely. The victim’s pain and swelling will be immediate. They say “it’s not uncommon to feel no painat the deepest part of the injured area. However, the skin around the edges of the rash can be extremely painful.”
  • An infection is a dangerous complication. Signs of infection include pus, fluid draining, flu-like symptoms, warmth, and increased pain.
  • In severe cases, road rash can cause blood poisoning. If a motorcycle accident victim with road rash goes into septic shock, the victim’s blood pressure may drop to a dangerous level and he/she may suffer organ failure. Death is a possibility.

Accident victims with road rash should seek medical help if:

  • The wound is large
  • The rash is on your hands, face, or genitals
  • Muscle or bone can be seen
  • Glass, pebbles, or other objects are embedded in the skin
  • Bleeding is excessive
  • There are signs of an infection

ER doctors and physicians will physically examine the affected area If the injury doesn’t appear to be healing. The doctors may order imaging tests to check for other injuries, such as broken bones or joint damage. If an infection or other complications are likely, the doctors may order blood tests.

What are the treatments for road rash?

The treatments vary depending on the severity of the road rash. The best course of action is to seek immediate medical help at a local Missouri or Kansas emergency room, or at your local doctor’s office. Verywell Health recommends that an after an accident, first responders:

  • Ensure the accident area is safe. When Kansas City motorcycle accidents happen, the first priority of the police will be to clear the traffic around the victim so that no other accidents happen.
  • Check to see that the victim is conscious and address any life-threatening emergencies. Emergency medical care may be required.
  • Stop the bleeding. Any bright red bleeding or bleeding that spurts from the site of the wound needs to be stopped immediately. In most cases, “road rash oozes rather than gushes blood. A little pressure with a bandageor any clean cloth should adequately control the bleeding.”

After any emergency conditions are handled, general treatments include:

  • Rinsing the wound with soapy water to help flush out any dirt or debris. This treatment includes gently removing any foreign objects. A medical professional may need to use sterile tweezers to remove any debris.
  • Covering the wound with gauze. Skilled medical professionals should know when to use dry dressings and when to use moistened dressings.
  • Giving the victim a tetanus shot. Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that may be life-threatening. Whether a tetanus shot or a booster shot is provided depends on the victim’s prior tetanus shot history.

Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil are usually strong enough to help with the road rash victim’s pain. In some cases, it may be necessary to prescribe a stronger medication.

Road rash normally heals well with time but victims and health providers need to monitor the skin abrasion for signs of infection. Infections should be treated promptly, and dressings should be removed and replaced daily. Antibacterial ointments or vitamin E oils may help the healing process.

Verywell Health also notes that:

Severe road rash needs to be treated as a burn, which may mean reconstructive surgery is required…Skin grafts, that use skin from a part of the body that is usually clothed, may be transplanted onto the wounded area – using a padded dressing, stitches, or staples. As it heals, the new blood vessels grow to help new skin cells form and heal the wound.

Road rash can leave a scar. It can also leave disfigurement in the form of discoloration (called traumatic tattooing). Severe road rash, like burns, will scar. The worse the road rash, the worse the scarring will be. In severe cases of scarring, plastic surgery may be required.

Choosing an experienced lawyer is critical to the success of your claim. If a driver cuts you off or causes your motorcycle accident in any way, our Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys fight aggressively to hold the driver liable for your injuries. If you lost control of your bike because of a defective motorcycle part, we file claims against the manufacturer.

We demand payment for all your medical bills, lost income, and the damage to your motorcycle. We also demand compensation for your pain and suffering. Victims who have scarring due to road rash often need to work with psychologists to cope with the emotional anxiety and depression that accompanies scarring or disfigurement.

To discuss how we investigate your accident and assert your rights to hold the defendants liable for your injuries, call us at 816-471-5111 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation.