Road rash is an abrasion that occurs on a person’s skin that is caused by rubbing or scrapping against the road during accident.
Just like burn, there are several stages of road rash. These stages will help you to determine how long does it take for your road rash to heal. If the road rash is not severe and it is treated with care and good hygiene standard, usually it will heal within 2 weeks. However, some road rash might take more than that to heal.
STAGES OF ROAD RASH
Depending on the severity, road rash can be divided into 3 categories that are first, second and third degree or road rash.
First Degree – On the first degree, the skin abrasion is very superficial and it only causes irritation or redness to the skin. First degree road rash can definitely be treated at home and later on we are going to share with you also several steps that you can do to treat your first degree road rash.
Second Degree – A road rash is considered in the second degree when the surficial part of your skin is broken and blood is present but the internal part of your skin remains healthy which will allow your outer skin to heal in considerably short time.
The second degree of road rash can still be treated at home but you will need to keep your eyes for any signs of infection that is showing on your road rash. Once you notice a sign of infection, you will need to contact your doctor immediately so that your road rash will not have any further complication.
Third Degree – The most severe road rash is the third degree that will include a tear on your skin tissue or broken skin tissue under the epidermal layer of your skin. The third degree of a road rash can also cause your skin to be removed completely and this wound will need to be treated by professional medical practitioner.
TREATING FIRST DEGREE OF ROAD RASH
To treat the first degree of road rash, you will need to clean your road rash with running water. Since at the first stage of road rash there is no skin opening so you will only need to rub your skin that was injured with clean cloth or your clean hand under a good irrigation water to remove the dirt from the road.
Maintaining the cleanliness of your irritated skin is also crucial regardless the stage of your road rash. This can prevent your road rash from getting worse. Applying some ointment like coconut oil or calendula salve can help you to keep your road rash moist so that it won’t leave any permanent scar when it heals.
TREATING THE SECOND DEGREE OF ROAD RASH
Since the second degree of road rash include some part of outer layer of your skin is opened and torn, hence the steps that you will need to take in order to heal this type of road rash will be a bit more complex compared to the previous one.
Cleaning the wound thoroughly is very important as it can prevent your road rash from infection. First, use liquid mild soap to clean the wound followed with warm water. You can use clean gauze or soft cloth to help cleaning the debris that is present on your road rash. Make sure you clean your road rash gently as you don’t want to ruin any more tissue on your skin. After you are sure that your road rash is cleaned from any dirt or debris, pat it dry with soft towel.
Dress your road rash with natural ointment or anti – septic ointment to keep your road rash hygiene and moist. It is very important to keep your road rash moist as otherwise it can cause scab to appear and dry out so eventually it will create scar on your skin.
Natural ointment such as herbal oil is very good to keep your road rash moist. As mentioned before, coconut oil, calendula salve, almond oil, or even raw honey can be a great help for your road rash. Keep your road rash covered once you apply some of these natural ointments to keep your skin clean from bacteria that roam around.
Replace the dressing of your road rash twice a day while watch for signs of infection on it. Do not soak your road rash in the water when you want to clean it but pat it with anti – septic wet tissue or moisturized cotton to remove the dead skin cell.
You can also vary the dressing on your road rash while changing it, but you will need to be fully aware that you don’t have allergies to any of these ingredients.
SIGNS OF INFECTION
If you notice that after several days your road rash does not show any improvement, or even worse, it gets worse, you might want to look for other symptoms of infection on your road rash. This will include:
Redness and swelling on your wound as well as on the surrounding area of your wound. While redness and swelling can also be a sign that your blood vessels are carrying the much needed oxygen to your wound for it to renew the skin cells, however, redness and swelling that followed by extreme pin can be a sign of infection from your wound.
Oozing yellow – ish fluid on your wound can also be a sign that your road rash is experiencing infection. A clear fluid that oozes from your wound is not a problem as it is one of the ways how your body is naturally cleaning its surface. However, when the discharge is yellow – ish or green you will need to check with your doctor as your road rash might have been infected.
Other side effect such as malaise and fever after you have road rash can also be a sign that your road rash is having infection. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing one of the symptoms above after you had an accident on the road.