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Wound-Dressing after a crash

eebee's picture

I am wearing a Tegaderm patch today, after taking the skin off my right kneecap last night! I am pleased so far with how it has been easing the pain. However, at work today I am having to wear another layer of paper-towels folded up over the patch and stuck to my skin with Scotch tape to catch the oozing. I know I'm supposed to let it stew in it's own juice, but I had difficulty getting it to stick in a clean line on my kneecap, considering how it must bend. I am draining it several times an hour. Keeping the wound moist like this definitely reduces the pain, especially over a bendy part like the knee.

This is actually the 4th dressing I have applied since last night. I went through 2 Johnson & Johnson Advanced Healing band aids, but even the largest size didn't stick as the wound was too big. This is the 2nd Tegaderm patch I've put on. It's like Saran Wrap!

I tend not to put these patches on unless it's particularly nasty, because at times I think my minor surface-scrapes heal better in the open air. I save the Tegaderm and Advanced Healing patches for deeper and wider injuries. From last night I also have a messed up elbow and left knee, but those are already on the mend.

For any beginner skaters: I launched myself forward because my weight was too far forward. I was leaning my upper body too far over the toe wheel and went flying as soon as I hit a chunk of wood on the trail. Normally if my weight is 'back', an offending rock or twig won't trip me like that. Oh and of course wearing knee and elbow pads helps!

I welcome any suggestions or any news of a roadrash wonder-product anybody might know of!


eebee's picture

Tegaderm report - 22 days later

I finally decided to leave the tegaderm patches off, after going through about 10 of them in 3 weeks. My skin is no longer broken or oozing. I don't have the scar-free appearance I had hoped for (yet). Where's my instant gratification?! The wound looks like a purple quarter on my knee right now. I'm sure it'll fade with time, but for right now I have to put up with disgustedly stifled looks from the other 'baseball Moms' who are probably wondering just how big of a klutz I must be to keep bashing up my knees like this.


It doesn't look perfect yet, but I will definitely use these patches again on future roadrash. I recommend others using this on painful abrasions. They certainly minimize the pain when healing.

sommemi's picture

don't fret the scars...

(this is my first comment, so bear with me!)

I have a LOT of experience with roadrash, and it took a long time for my forearms and knees to heal after a really bad "faceplant" when skating on a bike trail and locking up my skates. I think I made it 10 feet before managing to roll. (When I finally sat up, both me and my cousin both took a quick look at my chest to make sure my ... assets... were still there!)

It took me a while, and since my job is mostly all typing at a desk, it was a total pain to have my forearms on the desk all day long. This was 2 years ago, and I pretty much did exactly what you're doing - I tried to keep it covered with neosporin as much as possible and only covered it enough to keep 'stuff' from sticking to it. I'd take the patches off every now and then to let it breathe, but it took forever for it to finally stop oozing goo.

But it's 2 years now, and you can only see the scars when I point them out. They were pretty dark purple for about a year, but are barely visible now! So don't worry too much... they will fade after a while. I think the neosporin really helped a lot too.

Here's one tip: for knees, I used really large socks, and cut the top off of them. I then used the sock to hold on whatever patch I had onto my knee. It also helped soak up excess oozing. I didn't have Tegaderm patches, just dressings. But sock-tops are GREAT for knees and elbows because of the movement. (Use them on kids all the time!)

Good luck! And you have my utmost sympathies!!!

"Well behaved Women rarely make History." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

eebee's picture

Scars are not all created equal

Thanks for the advice Sommemi. The sock thing is a good idea! I have had plenty of roadrash over the past 7 years since learning how to stand up on inline skates. What's odd is how something that doesn't really seem that major an abrasion at the time, can leave bizarre-looking scars years later, and massive strawberries sustained from sliding down a hill on (pick a body part) just sort of disappear.


Tour to Tanglewood's essential volunteer Valerie said to me at one of the training rides this year: "Break open a vitamin E capsule and drizzle it over that scar whilst it's still purple". I haven't done it yet but it sounds worth a try!


Actually, the older I get, the more futile skin care seems :-)

roadskater's picture

Vitamin E for scar healing

When I had my most difficult injury, after simply doing slaloms going fairly slowly in a cul-de-sac in Greensboro, I had a tooth sheared off and busted my chin badly enough to require internal stitches. The advice given to me on my chin (other than it will never be the same) was to keep putting Vitamin E gel from those clear capsules on it. I did it for awhile, probably not enough. This advice was echoed by the comments of a woman who had her face cut badly in a car wreck. She said Vitamin E did the trick, and her face healed well it seems.

When looking up cul, as I had originally used in my article, the wikipedia proved interesting. The phrase means bottom of the sack, basically, but bottom can be translated to mean what we call rear end here, or the a-words we use for that (about which see...


Another irony is that CUL means see you later in onlingo, and once you go into a cul-de-sac I'll generally CUL8R when you come out, unless it is the cul-de-sac leading to the Hotel California.



eebee's picture

French Lessons from Beavis and Butthead

Heh heh, heh heh heh...he said "cul" (pronounced "kew", sorta kinda, close enough). Causes much mirth to 14 year old French exchange trip students when they see a cul-de-sac.


Related also to "Queue", as in Tail or Line (up) as in what we English people like to do ad infinitum.



skatey-mark's picture

Every scar has a story

Might just be the Y-chromosome talking here, but I think scars are cool...  :)  Well, maybe not on the face --  but legs, arms, etc are all fine as far as I'm concerned.  Always a nice conversation starter...  :)


"How did you get THAT?"


"Well, I was screaming down this hill at 45 mph in a pack of 12 when someone hit a stick..." 


- SM - 

sommemi's picture

Scars are AWESOME.


I TOTALLY agree. I was so dissapointed that my scars are fading. I love telling those kinda stories. Everytime my son gets a good injury, I just look at him, with those big crocodile tears welling up in his eyes, and say "Holy COW. That was awesome. Can you imagine the stories you're gonna tell with this scar?" And he's like "YEAH. I'll be like, Dude. You should have seen this car come outta no where and I totally ran into it with my bike and the whole front headlight was smashed in, and all I have left is this little scar on my eyebrow." (Never mind that the car was sitting still and he was the one that ran into IT.)

Funnier... is that I help the elementary school gym teacher teach kids how to roller skate once every year, and she asks me to tell stories of skating and give random tips... and the year after I fell real bad, I was able to tell the kids the benefits of wearing wrist guards... I say "Kids, you could hurt your hands real bad without wrist guards. I was wearing wrist guards when I was flying down this hill and I fell face first. My hands were perfectly fine, but my elbows and forearms weren't covered and look what happened to them." and I'd hold out my arms and they were like "eww...."

It was so cool.

skatey-mark's picture

keeping those dressings in place

I don't have the link handy, but there is n article I (and others) have linked to in the past that lists a "roadrash repair kit"...  One of the items in there was nylons, which you would cut and slip over the dressing to keep it in place.


For my most recent roadrash experience, I used a tegaderm patch.  That stuck pretty well, but the site was a bit tender, so I put a gauze pad over it, just for padding.  (I could have used anything, since it didn't really need to be sterile.)  To hold that in place, I used the foam "pre wrap" that you can use to keep sports tae from ripping the hair from you skin if you're taping up ankles, etc and have hair in that area.  The foam worked great and did not stick to the tegaderm.  My first experiment invovled a "self-adhering wrap" which unfortunately stuck just enough to the tegaderm to make it shift when I moved.


I had a little oozing too (which the gauze pad did help absorb, so it was dual purpose although not intentionally.)  I didn't have an issue with getting the tegaderm off -- although I think I left it on for maybe 7-8 days...  So perhaps the skin healed a little more and didn't hurt as much when pulling off the tegaderm patch.


- SM - 

timv's picture

Hope it's feeling better

Elizabeth, add me to the list of your well-wishers. It speaks well of your dedication that you've gotten back out there and kept on skating despite the roadrash. I don't have any special wisdom to dispense for treating it. I also think, from my experience, that the Advanced Healing-style bandages leave less scarring and also reduce the pain of scabs on stretchy skin. But, I'm thankful to be able to say, my experience isn't all that extensive in this area. I mainly wanted to wish you well and pass along my hopes for quick and successful healing.
eebee's picture

Roadrash update

Thanks for the well-wishes! This is the first time I've had the nerve to leave a tegaderm patch on longer than 48 hrs, and I'm glad I did. So thanks to all who encouraged me to do so. Interestingly enough, there were some bits of grit I couldn't pick out of the wound when it was fresh, that have just sort of floated away...


It's amazing to watch this injury heal so quickly. It's at the yellow gooey stage now, but rapidly decreasing in overall size each day.


I started wearing knee pads again :-)

kjg's picture

Leave it on.

My advice is to leave it on (washing and removing white exudite) until you see fresh pink skin across the whole area. I think this dramatically speeds up wound healing and decreases scarring.

Glad to hear that it is getting better! 

kjg's picture

Tegaderm is great!

I love tegaderm - although I to tend to reserve it for the extreme road rash - I think because of the expense.

I did the same thing with the tegaderm, telfa pad to catch ooze and then stretchy bandage. I also was told to watch it regularly and remove the white layer of stuff, painful but I think it helps the healing. I think it minimizes scaring.

Hope you are healing well! 

skart's picture

Ooozing is good

Actually, I would not mind oozing... From my experience oozing is not bad for the wound (it's just the smell that kills me :-) ). However, make sure that you replace tegaderm after 5-7 days since it may stick to the wound and may be painful to remove later.

 Heal well :-)

eebee's picture


If I manage to leave the same one on for 5 days I will be amazed! Do you also think this type of wound heals better with Tegaderm?

Thanks for the well-wishes.

skart's picture

Keeping the tegaderm in place

See... what I was doing was actually putting a sterile gauze pad on top of the wound and then keeping both in place by wrapping the wound with elastic self-adhersive band... Both tegaderm and the pad soaking in the ooze stayed in place great! :-) Of course I was taking off the band and the pad for showers...

However, once I managed to keep it on for over a week and man, it was really painful to take the tegaderm off... The ooze was over by then and tegaderm pretty much fused with the skin :-)

Anyway, I do think that degaderm helps with healing the wounds.. If not quicker than definitely cleaner. And, being a big scab picker it works great for me :-)


Hmm . . . the dreaded ooze problem!  Been there and done that myself!  I've used the Nexcare/Tegaderm product a few times and have done rather well with it.  I wish they made even bigger patches.  The bending areas are the worst!  So sorry . . .

 While leaning too far forward myself, I've managed to land like I'm sliding feet first into 2nd base from excessive softball days of old, so we're perfectly clear on where my road rash has been located!   Too bad sliding on asphalt just doesn't work, or I'd have it made!  It just seems to be a reflexive thing for me to do.   Oh, well!

 I will say this about my last fall.  I used a giant Nexcare patch on my "cheek" and skipped using it on my elbow.  I just wasn't that big as I barely tapped my elbow.  The huge area, not my elbow, healed faster and without a scar.  The elbow is most definitely scarred.  If I were you I would try to keep the patch on as much as possible and as long as possible even if I had to duct tape it!  Best wishes . . .

eebee's picture


Thanks for the advice to leave it on as long as possible. I have some spots on my elbow that I had the J&J Advanced Healing patches on, and now it just looks like two holes in my elbow. One of the 'holes' is actually greenish-looking (this is from 3 years ago, so it's not a septic-green!). I lost faith in the no-scarring thing after that. I hope you're right about the scarring - I'm prepared to try to keep it on long enough to see.

Wound healing time . . .

Oh, that last fall that I mentioned, I fell on a Saturday and could not find big enough or decent product to keep the darn thing covered.  The following morning, I got the Tegaderm, put spandex shorts on just to hold the mess in place, and put jeans on over that.  Then I took a 5 hr. train ride home.  This oozing goo went through my jeans.  When I got home, I showered, peeled the patch, and reapplied.  Wednesday I took the patch off, and much to my amazement, I had soft, smooth, pink skin.   

Wound heal time . . .

Sight unseen, since your already 24 hrs. into it, I'd say that if you can get 4 days out of a patch, you could be healed but probably pink skinned.  5 days should be fantastic!


Jack's picture

Ouch, Elizabeth!!! Sorry to

Ouch, Elizabeth!!! Sorry to hear that :-(

In the past, I've stuck with the basics, Hydrogen peroxide to cleanse, then Neosporin with a non-stick (hah-hah) dressing. That, and a liberal dose of time and comfort food. 

Get back on that horse ASAP 


eebee's picture

getting back on the horses

Thanks Jack! I'm getting back on the horses in about 30 mins, since it's not really a structural injury, and the flesh wounds'll just have to put up with it! I will probably try to dig out some knee pads just for peace of mind. Then the comfort food after that...:-)
roadskater's picture

Ear Witness to the Crash and Recovery Roll

As some of you may annoyingly know, Elizabeth and I skate long distance via cel phone often using our headsets. It's an odd habit, yes, and hopefully not too rude, because it lets us feel we're skating together and with friends at the same time.


I heard Elizabeth crash while I was talking with a new skater who had flagged me down in the park for some information, and after hearing she was OK, I went back to answering questions. Once I was back underway again I got a more complete report, but I have to say there was never any doubt whether we'd be out there again today. We're trying to skate briefly and often, instead of rarely and for hours. More on that later.


So it was that when we finally got Craig out to join us with Jack, Tim and myself, Elizabeth was back on her skates in my ear. I think the knee pads were just to hold the bandages together, not out of any particular fear, though I'm sure they helped with confidence. Congrats for getting back on wheels so quickly. It's the only way.


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