Wednesday, September 21, 2011
As I recently blogged about, I received some major road rash from my urban crit mountain bike race. With all my aggressive sports and hobbies not to mention my clumsiness I’ve been bruised and beat up many times before. Normally I just put some peroxide on the wounds for a few days and maybe some polysporin when I remember and pretty much let it scab up and then pick at the annoying scab until it’s gone and I have a pretty red scar. But this time was worse than usual so I did what I often do these days…I Googled. Yep, I wanted to know what the best way was to treat road rash as I never gave it much thought before.
The top Google hits referred to not letting the wound dry out and scab up. That scabbing prevents oxygen transfer and healing and that you should keep it moist with some sort of antibacterial cream and a bandage. So I decided my injuries would make a good science experiment and off I went to the pharmacy.
I wasn’t totally sure what to get so I ended up with a pretty full table of bandages, gauzes, wet dressings, tape and other miscellaneous interesting looking items. I had so much stuff I started telling my visitors ‘welcome to Pharmacy Island’.
This anti scab method was definitely more expensive than my normal ‘ignore it’ method. Some of that was due to my learning curve as I purchased several items that weren’t necessary. I also just never realized just how expensive first aid supplies are. Thankfully I saved some money when my $75 worth of wet dressings wouldn’t ring up at the register and I was only charged $3 thanks to a disgruntled CVS employee. Even with this windfall I still spent over $150 on supplies for my little science project experiment.
This anti scab method was also more time consuming and annoying. I dressed the wounds about twice a day but it seemed like I was always cleaning and changing bandages or worrying about the bandages staying in place
Another negative to this new anti scab method was the allergic reaction I had to the tape I used to wrap my bandages. I ended up with red swollen and itchy tape marks all around my leg that stayed around for over two weeks. Even now, over two months later, I can still tell where I placed the tape since the rest of my leg has tanned but the formerly taped allergic area is still white.
On the plus side the wounds were not painful and I didn’t have any annoying scabs that would itch and get picked at. Also it did seem to heal quicker since after two weeks of bandages I took them off for the last time and only had light pink skin. The light pink skin made it seem like I would have minimal scarring but after a few adventures in the sun they are now a much darker brown than the rest of my skin. So I’m dark brown where I had road rash, white where my tape had been and just in between tan everywhere else. It’s a very unique and interesting look that’s sure to be all the rage someday.
I don’t have a definitive answer as to which method is better but I would definitely try the anti scab method again especially now that I know what bandages to use and what to do. Here’s hoping you never need to try this for yourself and happy healing if you do.
Cat “Calico” Cathy