How to treat roadrash
A guide from the Canberra Cycling Club on how best to treat road rash
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MANAGING ABRASIONS / ROAD RASH WOUNDS
Originally from the Canberra Cycling club, added to by aboc
Current practice for these wounds, as for burns uses an occlusive dressing left intact until the repair tissue has regrown beneath. The preferred dressing is most commonly known as Mefix and comes in sheets or rolls 15-20 cm wide and is available at some pharmacies and medical supply stores.
- Clean area with Saline or water and dry with towelling. (At this time you will appreciate having shaved)
- Cut a piece of Mefix to the right size to completely cover the wound (you can overlap it if necessary) with a good few centimeters of excess around the edges. Peel off the backing from the Mefix and apply without stretching. Be careful to have the skin as dry as possible to prevent the Mefix lifting at the edges.
- Do not wet for 24 hours. There will be ooze which should be patted dry with tissue/towelling.
- From day 2, shower or wash the area at least twice daily with soap and washer and pat not rub dry with a towel.
- In the first few days there will be clear yellow liquid coming through the dressings. Use a clean face washer moistened with clean water to wipe the ooze off the dressings as often as needed.
- You may need to wear old clothes if there is a lot of ooze initially.
- On the night of the 7th day, cover the dressing with oil (Olive or baby oil are fine), and wrap the area in Glad-Wrap.
- Next morning, apply oil again and remove dressing in the shower. The skin beneath should be clean and pink.
- Moisturising cream will help protect the new skin as will avoiding direct sunlight
aboc recommends an addition to the above, by covering the mefix with a tubular net bandage you can protect the mefix from abrasion and it is more likely to stay in place for the week. Tubular net bandages are not commonly available at local pharmacies, but are available from medical supply stores. aboc uses a tubular net bandage from Sutherland Medical Pty Ltd called "Tubular-Net" which comes in rolls and in different sizes. A road rider's first aid kit will benefit from having Mefix and Tubular-Net (or similar) in it. If you're unable to find tubular net bandages fishnet stockings may suffice.
Some suppliers in Melbourne of Tubular-Net are :
RG Medical (Bayswater)
and the manufacturer, Sutherland Medical Pty Ltd.
A sizing suggestion :
Size 2 fits an adult male elbow
Size 4 fits a large (sprinter!) adult male knee or calf
Mefix and tubular net bandages look like this in use. Note that the photos below have an additional layer of an absorbent bandage over the wound to absorb blood and plasma. This extra layer isn't necessary but does soak up the mess.