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Calling All "Road Rash" Wound Care Healing Treatment Techs: Any Personal Tips?

MikeB's picture

Spills are gonna happen, and severities will differ greatly especially depending on the chosen safety gear (or lack thereof). Skaters need to be prepared and have a plan of action to limit discomfort and down time. Maybe you've heard some good ideas or perhaps you're a certified specialist......in any event - what are your tips, and your healing secrets?


eebee's picture

Experienced RoadRashee

Some points that come to my mind (very good topic, btw!):

  • The whole time I wore knee and elbow pads as a beginner during my first 3 years roadskating I kept said limb joints in great condition - no rash, scabs or scars there! And I fell plenty. All gooey scrapes were oriented around my butt. Of course later after ditching the knee and elbow pads afterwards I ruined my knees and elbows for good.
  • Amongst other essential skills, Eddy Matzger teaches a good way to fall at his workshops. So that's worth checking out, hint hint!
  • From personal experience, I have found either 3M Nexcare or Johnson & Johnson Advanced Healing patches work best for any roadrash smaller than about 2" diameter. Anything bigger than that needs a Tegaderm patch, which I hate and have not had good results with.
  • The fastest way I found to heal a massive butt-strawberry that sticks to whatever chair/clothing you're on, is three days in the ocean from day 2 onwards, i.e., after it's had time to scab over a bit. Unfortunately for most of us an impulsive jaunt to the beach isn't possible.
  • I tried healing a 2" scab once au naturel, and it was agonyA clean 3M or J&J patch is well worth the money to keep your skin supple and relatively pain-free, instead of tortured by gravity.

Falling is part of learning! That's not one of those lame 'everything happens for a reason' statements, but one that I have to remind myself regularly of because otherwise my fear of falling impedes my forward progression.

skart's picture

Good article

Here is the best article I was able to find on the subject. Highly recommended reading. http://www.velonews.com/article/3909
skatey-mark's picture

I was trying to find that

I was trying to find that exact article on velonews... I agree that it's the best one I've seen. Of course, I have yet to put together my own road rash kit. I did finally go get some tegaderm last year, which is awesome stuff! - SM -
roadskater's picture

Some More Road Rash Wound Healing Articles

Thanks for the link, skart. That'll be a handy one to have. I've also done a couple of searches here for previous articles I found interesting:
Another question about road rash with a request for road rash photos...

Those are the ones I could find fairly quickly. I like the Compeed/Band-Aid Natural Healing bandages and will use the largest ones available before going to Tegaderm as I agree that Tegaderm is great but can be nasty to deal with too...but any large road rash is going to be tough to deal with.

Let me just say that when I started out skating I wore blue jeans and long sleeves and pads the first few times out even though it was pretty warm. I still got buttburger later when I went to cycling shorts (with the chamois removed by cutting out the stitching). I found the Schwinn shorts pretty durable but have forgotten whose tag was in them as manufacturer.

As for wearing safety pads I found that the big RollerBlade brand ones were great, especially when I wore them over clothes at first. They were a bit uncomfortable to wear if I adjusted them tightly enough to stay put on sweaty skin in a crash...but still worth it for a long time until feeling more confident of fewer skin-breaking falls. I probably wore elbow and knee pads and wrist guards for a year or two, then just wrist guards and later the smaller palm sliders...and always, always a helmet, no matter what.

I think good, medium weight, somewhat tight Lycra saves your butt from abrasions, especially compared with loose shorts or anything that would move out of the way easily.

Another thing! My waterpack has saved me many many times when falling backward, relieving lots of the shock and damage to self and jersey and even I'm sure, my head. Somehow there was less snapback of the head and the pack kept it a few inches further from the ground. That's one reason carrying a waterpack might be worth it still, though I love skating without it.


timv's picture

No personal road rash experience to relate, thankfully

> http://roadskater.net/index.php?q=does-being-a-brave-soldier-help-road-r... by timv (did you try it?)

No, I never bought any and--I'm quite happy to be able to say--I haven't needed any. Perhaps my forward progression is also being impeded by fear of falling, but falls have been mercifully rare over the past few years and I'm thankful for that. I still really like the name "Brave Soldier" for a wound treatment product though.

Has anyone had the chance to test the rationale that male cyclists and some skaters give for shaving their legs, that it makes for easier post-crash wound treatment?

Yes, that VeloNews article was quite informative. There are some great suggestions in it for items to consider adding to my crash kit

Sanitary napkins and pantyhose, eh? That should be fun. In my ballet days I was a regular purchaser of makeup, which is mandatory if you don't want to look like a plaster statue under stage lighting, and it was always fun to see if the grocery store cashier's face betrayed any reaction while ringing it up. They try to be really cool and professional about stuff like that but don't always manage to pull it off.

I have the greatest respect for what cyclists go through in multi-day stage races. I became really aware of that about five years ago while watching TV coverage of the Giro d'Italia (back in the glory days when all three major three-week tours were shown live daily on OLN!) seeing Alessandro Petacchi continue to win sprint stages despite being unable to sleep because of the skin he had lost. The soigneurs formed a human shield around him after the end of each race to make sure that no one even accidentally bumped into him in the crowd because of the pain.

He was eventually eliminated on time while wearing the "ciclamino" points-leader's jersey in the hail and snow crossing the Colle de Sampeyre, but he did finish the stage and was given a special award at the end of the tour for his courage. But in every tour you know that some rider endures at least that much without receiving any special honors.


MikeB's picture

VeloNews article is top notch....thanks Skart

That is a solid read. Just what I was looking for. eebee's stuff is great as well and I love the quote "my fear of falling impedes my forward progression" - I bet that could be true for a lot of skaters. Blake - I'll peruse those other articles at first chance. Thanks!
MikeB's picture

onboard medical kit is coming together

I just wanted to thank you for all the input. I've managed to put together a small med. starter kit that fits nicely in my fanny pack camelbak (which was a great suggestion from Kendra btw). And thankfully I'm back on the road, (took a puck in the ankle last week blocking a slapshot - won't be doing that again!)
roadskater's picture

You Will Tell Us Won't You?

Hey MikeB, glad to hear you're back on wheels underfoot again. I'm curious of course as to a couple of things... What did you find the most compelling items in the discussions you've had, but that you probably won't carry skating, but may keep in the car? What made it to the kit!? I'm sure plenty will find this useful info and discussion.
MikeB's picture

stuff that made the med kit cut

"med kit cut" - that was terrible....sorry about that. Hopefully that's not some omen-esque foreshadowing....'gulp' My on-board kit is pretty small b/c I want to stay light and not get too bulky. on-board is: 1/2 oz. tube of max.strength neosporin, 10 butterflies, 3 medium sized bandages and 2 large bandages, ibuprofin. In the skate bag: more large bandages, scissors, ibuprofin, tape, plasma, smelling salts, whiskey, (okay, just kiddin' about those last 3). But still to get is: tegaderm, nylon hosiery - nude, satin beige, taupe - undecided ;-), not sure on the sanitary napkins - sounds like they'd be perfect but putting them in the shopping cart is problematic- another ;-). All kidding aside though, to answer the question of what I found most compelling on this discussion is that no matter how good a skater you are, you should be prepared because falls happen at every skill level. Also, the wide array of products as well as creative methods. For instance the sanitary napkins held in place by nylons. That to me is brilliant,,, functional and cost effective. Eebee's ocean therapy could be as simple as a salt bath, just need the Sunday crossword or Sudoku puzzle and I'd be set. I certainly don't want to be a crash and burn specialist but 'hope for the best, prepare for the worst' seems to hold very true here.
timv's picture

Also for on-board?

I bought a box of "Wet Ones Antibacterial Moist Towelettes" that I've had several occasions to use. They're individually wrapped in foil and they take up hardly any space, and they'll apparently stay moist and fresh forever. They're pretty ideal for doing a quick once-over cleaning before bandaging.

Big fan of Neosporin (or other store-brand triple-antibiotic ointment) here too. I cut and scratch and scrape myself all the time during various handyman projects and they all heal very quickly with the stuff.

eebee's picture

Avoid hot tubs...

When we went to the beach last summer, my son brought an aggravated spider bite with him on his leg. After the 4th day at the beach he was covered head to toe in a red, spotty rash. Long story short...when taking him to the doc's, they all crowded around him and said "At the beach eh? Hot tubs, eh?", which I denied. Apparently hot tubs are a great place to get staph, especially if you've already got an open wound. So the salt bath sounds like a more hygienic solution to my dubious ocean therapy - you maybe just need to fix yourself a wave-generator to slap the scab off every now & then :-). My son's head-to-toe rash? Turned out to be CHICKEN POX, of all things! Hence all the docs crowding round to look at him (I guess it's rare these days). I hope your ankle heals up soon. That sounds painful.
roadskater's picture


I love the idea of bringing along butterflies! I know, you didn't mean those butterflies. Also it's an aural reminder of skating in Manhattan for the MSN promotion in the purple velvety body suit with wings, photos of which may be found on rsn classic (http://rsn1.net). We skated down one street and I heard the metallic rolling sound of the lift door of a UPS truck, and from across the busy street, a bulky but fit grown man in LonGuyLand accent yelling like he was suddenly 5 years old, "Pupple Buttuhflies!" It was a sweet roll down those busy streets! It was a hugely effective marketing event at very low cost, and incredible fun to be part of it.

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