Posts Tagged ‘cleaned with soap and water’

Healing Abrasions

In sports, healing abrasions quickly and thoroughly is critical to getting back on the field or in the saddle again.

Abrasions are a common injury among athletes of all abilities.  They occur in a fall to a hard surface where friction rubs off layers of skin.  Deep abrasions remove the epidermis which is like the cover of skin, and the dermis which lie beneath and provide structure.

Bicyclists often suffer from many kinds of abrasions, such as “road rash” which occurs when a cyclist crashes.  These injuries can be severe and highly painful because nerve endings are exposed, but most abrasions don’t enter the dermis and bleed much.

All abrasions receive the same initial treatment; that is they are thoroughly cleaned with soap and water.  Hydrogen peroxide is a traditional antiseptic, however new protocol cautions against the use of peroxide for the burning and damage it can inflict on the health tissue surrounding the wound.

After the abrasion is cleaned, an antibiotic ointment or cream and a bandage are all that are needed.  The bandage should be changed once per day.

If the wound is deep enough to be seen by a physician, he will rinse debris and dirt with a water-filled syringe and the follow it with 0.9 sodium chloride.  That will be followed with a second skin product like bioclusive or tegaderm.  The physician will determine if stitches are warranted in addition to the healing ointment.  He will also inquire that your tetanus vaccine is up to date.  All adults are advised to get a tetanus booster every ten years.

If your abrasion affects only the dermis, any ointment will help heal the chafed skin.  As long as the wound is thoroughly cleaned, a lotion, cream or balm can go far in healing abrasions.