I had a rainy commute a few mornings ago. It was the light rain that’s heavier than mist but not quite a shower. Temperatures were pleasantly in the high 50′s. I’m usually careful of slick spots when it’s raining. Particularly, metal surfaces (manhole covers, steel plates and railroad crossings) and painted road stripes are quite slick when it’s been raining. Mere blocks from work, I went down on a slick spot that I hadn’t seen and got a little bit of road rash.
Anyone who rides a lot of miles will eventually eat it and end up with a bear-claw chainring wound to the shin, road rash, or other cuts and scrapes. It pretty much goes with the territory. I’ve had a few incidents of road rash over the past 15 years, and I’ve tried different methods.
My injury wasn’t too bad.. A few scrapes surrounded by a 3″ x 3″ patch where the upper layer of skin had been worn away.. After about 15 minutes, the entire area was weeping.. I kept it covered until I could get some 4″ Tegaderm.
Tegaderm is by far my favorite way of covering up shallow abrasions or burn wounds, not that you’d get burn wounds on a bicycle, I’d hope. Tegaderm is made by 3M and marketed in pharmacies under 3M’s Nexcare brand. It differs from some of the hydrocolloid dressings in that it doesn’t absorb moisture and gel up. It’s simply a thin, clear membrane that allows the wound to breathe while keeping it moist. Like the hydrocolloid dressings, this allows fresh skin to grow in quickly without scabbing.
I don’t carry a full road-rash kit around, or even keep one in my office.. I have basic first-aid stuff in my desk, though.
How do you treat your road rash?