Road rash is one of the most common injuries people suffer in car and motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists especially are prone to suffer from road rash in an accident.

Road rash occurs when a person’s skin rubs against a rough surface causing what could be classified as a burn or abrasion. In some cases, road rash will be mild and can be treated at home. In others, the person suffering from road rash will experience extreme pain and need to seek professional medical attention. 

Read on to learn more about road rash, its symptoms, and treatment.

Road Rash Symptoms

Road rash often occurs in a car or motorcycle accident when a person is thrown from the vehicle and their skin rubs against the pavement. Common areas that rub against the road include legs, arms, and hands.

If the case of road rash is severe enough, the affected area can be damaged all the way down to the bone. A person suffering from road rash will also most likely experience redness and inflammation of the affected area. 

Road rash can also lead to infection. In some cases, infection can occur because debris from the accident penetrated the skin and remained lodged inside the affected area. The area can also become infected if it is not properly treated. 

Road Rash Treatment

Because the risk of infection and further damage is high, it is crucial you seek medical attention immediately if you are dealing with a severe case of road rash. If your case is mild and you feel you can treat it on your own, there are several steps you can take to do so.

Some of the most important things to keep in mind and do to treat road rash include:

  • Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed before you begin treating your case of road rash. Any bacteria that gets into the wound could increase your chance of infection.
  • Remove any debris you find in the wound. This includes pebbles, glass, rocks, and other small materials that could have entered the affected area during the accident.
  • Clean and scrub the wound with soap and water. Make sure any towels and washcloths you use are clean.
  • Apply an antibiotic cream to guard against infection. You can get quality antibiotic creams at any pharmacy.
  • Bandage the wound. Make sure to change the bandage regularly.

Over time the wound should begin to decrease in size. However, if it fails to do so or if you notice a bad odor, pus, or other signs of infection, seek medical attention as soon as you can. 

Finally, it is common to have other injuries in the same area as the road rash. Broken bones, ligament strains, and contusions can all make treating road rash more difficult and painful.

Preventing Road Rash

The best treatment for road rash is prevention. While you can’t guarantee you won’t get it (for example if a negligent driver causes the accident), there are several things you can do to prevent road rash or minimize the damage caused to your body in an accident.

For those who are in a car, it is always a good idea to wear a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt will keep you in the car and stop you from rubbing against the pavement in an accident.

If you are on a motorcycle, make sure you don’t have any exposed skin. Riding jackets, pants, boots, and other accessories can go a long way toward keeping you safe from road rash.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have a severe case of road rash because of an accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer will be able to assess your case and determine whether or not you could be eligible for compensation. In some cases, the other party or their insurance company might even owe you damages for things like medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.