What Is Road Rash?

What Is Road Rash? What do skateboarders, motorcycle riders, cyclists, and electric scooter riders have in common? These are some of the individuals who can fall victim to road rash. What is road rash? Road rash is a type of skin abrasion that a person can get when their skin scrapes against a rough surface.

Motorcycle riders and cyclists are familiar with this type of abrasion because it is one of the common injuries that these riders can suffer from when being ejected from their bikes. The most common activities that can result in road rash include motorcycling, skateboarding, and bicycling. Some additional activities that can result in road rash include interacting with certain machines and items. For example, a person can trip while walking on the treadmill and technically suffer from road rash.

What causes road rash?

Road rash involves contact with a hard surface plus friction. A person can suffer from road rash when their skin either gets scraped off. It is unclear whether road rash is created only through friction or also through heat buildup. While all areas of the body are susceptible to road rash, some of the more common body parts that suffer from road rash include the knees, elbows, hands, and forearms.

What are some common symptoms of road rash?

The symptoms of road rash are dependent upon the degree of the injury. The minor road rash victims, will possess surface-level burns. The more severe road rash injuries, on the other hand, possess symptoms like permanent scarring, skin grafting, and elements of a hypertrophic scar. With the more severe road rash injuries, scarring or permanent disfigurement can occur.

What are traumatic tattoos?

Traumatic tattoos are another consequence of the more severe road rash injuries. This type of injury occurs when items become lodged into a person’s skin. Some of the common debris that can become lodged include rocks, dirt, metal, or glass. Traumatic tattoos can become seriously dangerous for people if the pieces of debris are not removed immediately.

The particles are at risk of becoming permanently stuck in the person’s skin if the debris is left untreated. To help prevent this situation from occurring, people should clean the wounded area as soon as possible. Individuals with traumatic tattoos may have to engage in a method known as wound debridement, or surgical scrubbing, where all foreign debris is expertly cleansed from the wounded area and any dead or infected tissue is removed as well.

What are the different degrees of road rash?

Similar to heat injuries, road rash injuries are measured by degrees and the severity of the individual’s injuries. The first-degree injury, for example, is generally considered minor. This is an injury that consists of small bruises and scratches, redness, tenderness, and a little bleeding. Regardless of the severity of the injury, individuals are advised to seek immediate medical treatment for their wounds. However, with a first-degree injury, the individual can treat the wounded area on their own.

A second-degree injury, on the other hand, is a little bit more serious. The wounds from a second-degree injury are much more painful than with a first-degree injury, and medical treatment is necessary. Some of the characteristics include swelling, bleeding, and exposed muscles, tendons, and nerves. Scarring is constant with second-degree injuries.

A third-degree injury is the most severe injury concerning road rash. With a third-degree injury, a person’s skin is at risk of completely flaying off. Some characteristics of this type of injury involve excessive bleeding, swelling, and damaged bones or nerves. Depending on the injury, people can either experience extreme forms of pain or a lack of pain as a result of nerve damage. Under third-degree injuries, individuals are at risk of suffering from an infection, scarring, or permanent deformity.

Why is road rash so dangerous?

With road rash injuries, infection remains the main concern. An individual’s injury is infected if the redness spreads across the injured area, there is warmth around the area, or if the individual’s body is trying to fight the infection off around the injured area. It doesn’t matter how severe the road rash is; any time you introduce detritus and debris to an open wound, it can lead to an infection. If it goes untreated, that infection can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening inflammatory response.

How can I prevent road rash?

Some preventive methods individuals can take to avoid road rash include wearing protective gear and protective clothing. Individuals riding motorcycles and bicycles can make sure to wear protective gear such as helmets, gloves, and appropriate shoes that help cover feet. Individuals who skateboard or play sports where falling is capable must use elbow and knee pads. Last but not least, motorcycle riders and cyclists must make sure not to speed and remain within the speed limit.

At the Hayden Law Firm, we pride ourselves on always putting you, our client, first. Our attention to detail and unique client-focused approach helps us get you results that can help you recover from your accident and injuries. Please call our office at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. We proudly serve clients in St. Louis, and throughout Missouri and Illinois.