After my crash a week and a half ago, I noticed that the road rash on my hip was taking awhile to heal. The abrasion took off just the very surface of the skin, but it was slow in scabbing over. The fact that I treated it like a “guy” probably didn’t help, either. Oh, I washed it with soap right away, and applied NeoSporin — but because it covered a somewhat wide area, I decided not to cover the wound. I’d let it get some air. It would heal quicker that way, anyway.
Problem was, I didn’t think about nighttime. When I woke up in the morning, getting out of bed was a bit painful, because the road rash stuck to the bedsheet. And pulling my leg off the sheet opened the already weeping sore spot.
This went on for several days, until my wife snapped at me about the mess I’d left on the sheet. So I poked around the medicine cabinet, and came up with some stuff that makes a liquid bandage on the skin. I put it on, and it actually worked. The wound scabbed over, and the scab stayed.
It turns out that letting the wound scab over was the “old fashioned” way to treat it. Nowadays, they say I should have cleaned the wound, continued to put NeoSporin or something like it over the sore, and cover it with some kind of bandage, like a non-stick gauze pad. And repeat every day. Once a wound scabs over, it’s harder for oxygen to reach it, and the no-cover method could result in a longer healing time. That’s just what happened. The smaller abrasions around my knee scabbed with no trouble. But the scabs are quite thick, and they’ve become a bit painful.
I’m on track, though. Now that the weeping has stopped, the wound should heal in another week to 10 days. It’s still sore when I touch it (“Then don’t touch it!” — bah-dang!) but it’s smaller than it was.
Well, I’m a little smarter, anyway. Next time I go down (Oh, there will be a next time — I’m realistic about my riding ability) I’ll be more aggressive in treating the road rash. But as a friend of mine likes to say, “Bikers get the coolest scars.”
For more detailed info on road rash, download the free publication from cycling coach Arnie Baker:
Above photo used under Creative Commons license.