Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Road rash fun

What better blog post than to write about road rash.

Given that I had a fairly fun (NOT AT ALL) crash about a week ago, I feel compelled to write about road rash and treating it. Let me say I got most of my information off of xton's very helpful post on the same subject. I just wanted to elebroate more on the bloodiness, of course. :)

First off, if you aren't up for cleaning the wounds yourself. Go to urgent care the first day. Not the second... I did a shitty job the first day cleaning my wounds. The next day, while the wounds were happily oozing black/brown dirt, I got freaked out thinking I might have broken something, and decided to go to urgent care. Needless to say, they took one look at my wounds, and decided to tear off all my expensive tegaderm, and re-scrub everything. OWWWW. The nice part about urgent care - they do put lidocaine on your wounds to numb it before they scrub. The bad - they only put it on the deep ones (too much lidocaine is apparently bad for you), and it's topical, so once the top of your wounds gets scrubbed off, it starts stinging pretty bad. If you are ball-sy enough to clean it yourself, drugstores also sell this 2% lidocaine solution that should help numb wounds, which I've heard helps.


The whole new moist wound care stuff is really awesome. I was told to use Tegaderm and then some folks recommended Duoderm. After a bit of research - I realized Duoderm / Tegasorb (not tegaderm) / Hydrocolloid are all pretty much the same thing. All this stuff is a bit expensive (Tegaderm is $3.75 for a 4" x 4 3/4" patch at drugstore pricing and Hydrocolloids are $3 for a 3" x 3" patch at drugstore prices) with the hydrocolloids being a bit more expensive. I recommend buying what you need for the day and then buying in bulk from some online medical supply store, even with the expedited shipping it's still cheaper.

Personally I used Tegaderm for the first few days, until the wounds started oozing less and moved to a hydrocolloid bandage. One thing to note about Tegaderm: if you are oozing a lot (yellow ooze is OK), do clean/replace often, else your skin might get irritated and itch a lot and add insult to injury. The ooze also smells really bad, it kind of smells like someone sweaty who hasn't showered in while... The wound can also ooze a lot and the ooze can "spill" out and seep through the edges of the Tegaderm, so definitely bandage it in with gauze so it doesn't leak on your clothes. You can leave these on for a few days. Until either the wound looks healed or the ooze has taken over so you have to change it.

Hydrocolloids are a bit more expensive than Tegaderm, but they are a bit nicer. The nicest feature is that it absorbs the ooze, so it doesn't leak everywhere easily, and just grows larger... it sort of looks like a GIANT whitehead. It does eventually ooze tho, if the bandage cannot absorb anymore. You can leave these on for ~7 days.

Anyhow, the best part about both of these is the ability to shower with big wounds over your body, with no pain as it keeps the water out. For the more surface type wounds, it took about 1 week for the oozing to stop, for the larger wounds, it looks like it's going to take 2 weeks... Moist healing also lets you completely bypass the "scab forming itchy" stage, and having no scab to pick on is wonderful. I didn't feel any itching besides from the ooze irritation (ew). I do believe that the moist healing thing works faster tho. I had similar sized wounds on my leg and arm, on my leg I chose to let it scab over and on my arm I put a hydrocolloid bandage on. Result at 1.5 weeks: arm has new skin already, leg is still scabbed up and itchy.


After a while, it won't be the bloody wounds that hurt, but the stupid bruises from falling and your body hitting random parts of the road! Icing within the first 24 hours is KEY. This will save you a lot of pain down the road (and make healing a lot faster). ICE A LOT (I wish I iced more...)

Moist healing is awesome. No more crashing for cyn.


Kimo said...

What, no pics?

LeeZ said...

Ouch! Poor Cyn :-(