How To Treat Road Rash
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Ossessionato
Vespa GTS
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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Location: Maynard MA and Cape Cod
Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:12 pm quote
For what it's worth I just ran across this.
Maybe someone with medical knowledge can evaluate or add to the article.

http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-Road-Rash
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:22 am quote
Burn nurse here Skins my thing!! This what i would and have done to myself and others! As soon as possible wash,scrub the area off with soap and water to get out any debris. The nerve endings will be a little more "dull" and your adrenalin higher right after the injury. So while it will still hurt it won't hurt as much, the sooner you do it. Scrub HARD if there is debris. Then dump a whole bunch of hydrogen peroxide on the area to lift out anything you have missed. This will really not be fun and hurt! Do it any way. Only use the peroxide initially since the article is right about the wound healing. It will delay wound healing if used later on. I would put any type of anti bacterial ointment on triple, single whatever. They have some with lidocaine which will help numb the area. This is a good thing. I've never known the triple antibiotic ointment to delay healing Cover with gauze. Clean daily with mild soap and water and apply ointment. Don't scrub the wound but gently get off the old ointment and clean it. If the bandage is stuck,soak it off with warm water, then clean. Pulling off the stuck dressing takes off the new skin. Not a good thing. Reapply ointment and fresh gauze. It will take 7-10 days to heal. Adaptic/vaseline gauze over the antibiotic cream can be used if needed. Wound will heal from the edges inward. Initially you might get some bleeding. Some may ooze onto the dressing the first day. If it's more than a small amount or continues see a doctor. Exudate/drainage (yellow crap) is normal. Green is not. Green drainage you should see a doc. The area around the wound maybe a little red but if the redness area gets larger and you have a fever,chills get your butt to a doc Tetanus shot should be up to date. 5 years is a cut off to be on the safe side. Lots of road rash and bandages around halloween will get you more candy Scars make great conversation pieces and they usually fade over time Free advice priceless
Size of a Chaffinch
PX 125 "The Bruise"
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:43 am quote
judy, what a great post.

I like the description of treatment because that outlines the consequences of road rash much better that any picture.

I've had hydrogen peroxide poured onto a wound and can confirm that it is er, stimulating - at that point all my polite Englishness disappeared and I turned the air blue with some robust Anglo Saxon.
Ossessionato
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Location: Maynard MA and Cape Cod
Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:17 am quote
Thanks Judy!
Let's hope we never need to follow the advice.


Edit:
PS I tell people my scars are from dueling.

Last edited by Santiago on Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:19 am quote
Great post Judy. I'm not sure how hard I'd be willing to scrub myself after a fall, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thank you.
Hooked
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:28 am quote
Having just recovered from road rash.....

At the hospital they scrubbed it. Ow
During surgery they took advantage of the fact I was out cold and REALLY got the rest of the road tar out of it.

I was told to leave it open to the air.

I got some REALLY thick scabs on it which would crack and break off causing it to ooze and bleed. Then some new lighter scabs would form. Kind of looked like some kind of tumer hanging on my knee. Really gross looking.

I kept it covered at night to protect the bed sheets.

It got infected. (I'm diabetic so this wasn't too big a surprise)

It's much better now and the pink is almost gone. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. But then the pain in the broken wrist was pretty big so it shadowed any other ow's I had.

I only had road rash on elbow and over left knee. I can not imagine what it would be like to have that all over my body. Lesson learned. No more shorts and tank tops while riding.
Molto Verboso
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:46 am quote
Not a health professional here, but for 20 years I was a national level bicycle racer who specialized in track (velodrome) racing. Although I rarely went down, over all those years of rough-and-tumble track and all-weather road and criterium racing, I lost my share of skin. I had the honor of having my uniform cut off by 1980 Olympic champion Nelson Vails in Colorado before being sent off to hospital for stitching.

Crashing was often at speeds of 20-40 mph, and, except for shoes, gloves and helmet, I was essentially naked.

Judy's post is spot on, reflecting the best treatment I got, especially about the part of scrubbing the wound immediately and thoroughly. The real pain doesn't usually kick in for 30 minutes or so and the wound becomes so tender you can't stand for it to be touched, let alone scrubbed.

The key to complete, trouble-free healing is cleaning the wound and changing the dressings.

P.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:59 am quote
As demonstrated by previous non-related postings, 'Aloha Judy' is quite the asset to the MV community.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:47 am quote
whaley wrote:
I was told to leave it open to the air.
It cannot be emphasized enough that this is old school thinking. I'm appalled that this is the advice you got from the hospital. You should not have had to suffer needless infections. The current approach is to keep the wounds covered and moist (antibiotic ointment, *not*cream*, with or without lidocaine) to keep the air out - healing is faster, with less scarring and fewer infections.

Been there many times over the years (cycling injuries), done both. Keep it moist and covered. Scabs suck.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:51 am quote
Judy, great post and I agree with your comments on the management and care. The only slight thing I would disagree with you on is that the tetanus shot is good for 10 yrs and not only 5. If in doubt and no record of having had it, just get one.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:07 am quote
Quote:
I was told to leave it open to the air.


It cannot be emphasized enough that this is old school thinking. I'm appalled that this is the advice you got from the hospital.
Was the nurse, not the hospital. I bet the people who looked at it wished I had it covered too. Really nasty looking. I did get a shot for tetnis. Turned out I had just had one (my own doctor really keeps me up to date) so I ended up with two of them. I guess that's not a problem.

I was on FOUR rounds of antibiodics. First three for an infection in the incission where they did the surgery and the 4th for the knee. I had what is a typical dibetic looking wound on the wrist. I get infections really easy. But you would have though I wouldn't have gotten the one on the knee with all the junk I took.

And because I was on them for so long now I have the joy of the "other" infection women get from being on antibodics. Yuck.

All wounds look really great now. I'll have a very light scar on the wrist and knee will heal with no show of what went on. And yes, if they wash it while you are still in shock you don't feel it as much as if they wait. But I'm REALLY glad they cleaned most of it while I was out cold.


I guess the big thing is to put on safety gear ALL the time. It wouldn't have stopped the broken wrist but it would have stopped the concusion I got and the road rash from happening to begin with.[/quote]
Ossessionato
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:27 am quote
Quote:
I'm not sure how hard I'd be willing to scrub myself after a fall, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
This is what friends are for...once spent an hour scrubbing out and picking sand from my firend's leg. Wasn't much fun for either of us but pretty sure it was less fun for her.
Beer Fairy
GTS-"Cannonball Bettie" Member Iron Butt Association
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Location: Seacoast New Hampshire USA
Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:49 am quote
LIke a Veggie peeler, rather have it and not need it than...
It is very interesting that many people have small "first aid kits" in their scoots. but as you may now understand , a little band-aid is not what you need! I put together two kits for under the seat ( MY GTS and Lynn's GT)
we call it the road rash kit. they went as follows
1. locking waterproof box approx 8" by 6" by 3"
This takes some stuffing and finageling to get this all in but it works, I tested the box for a fit in right in the aisle of the walmart...
2. three rolls of Sterile gauze
3. 5 Extra large absorbent wound covering pads 4"x6" box of 10 divided in 2
4. one can of sterile wound wash, for dirt and gravel.
5. some really big stick on bandaids 5 each
6. one roll of 1.5 inch adhesive tape
7. one roll of adhesive gauze tape
8 One tube of triple antibiotic
9. One small pocket knife
10. Ibuprofen

Makes you feel like a boy scout when ya do this....
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX 150
Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 7075
Location: New Hampshire
Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:00 am quote
Years ago, my youngest daughter had a friend with a trail bike and this kid would visit from time to time. My daughter was always bugging me about riding the bike. I kept saying no.

One day when I was not around, she tried to ride the bike. She revved it up, dumped the clutch and you can imagine what happened. We lived on a gravel road and she landed on her shoulder and skidded about 20 or so feet on her back.

Her mother and I were not aware of the accident until much later that night. I heard her whimpering in her room and went to investigate. Her older sister was with her, trying to comfort her. Of course, she knew about it right after it happened but would not rat her little sister out. I was bullshit!

We took her to the hospital and they did a WOW is that gonna hurt reaction to her injury. They took my daughter behind a screen and told her that it should have been cleaned right away because it had been trying to scab over for 12 hours. They said that they had to scrub the dirt and gravel out or she would get a horrible infection.

I have never in my life heard screaming as loud as I heard that night when the nurses scrubbed, and I mean scrubbed the wound with brushes. It absolutely broke my heart that my little girl had to go through that only because she didn't listen to me, and then she tried to hide it.

She is now an adult with two fine sons, the oldest about the same age as she was when she dumped the bike. She still has a distinct scar about the size of a sheet of paper on her back that will never go away.

Sorry for the long saga, but this thread brought back horrible memories.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:34 am quote
Over the years unfortunately i've had road rash from just about every sport or undertaking i've done Shorts,baseball and sliding into home plate is a really dumb move! Learned early on about getting it clean ASAP BENNY your right that tetanus shots are good for 10yrs but most docs still err on the side of caution with 5 years if you have a significant amount of road rash. Better safe than sorry rule. While the shot is pretty harmless and your arm maybe a little sore for a day or to that's nothing compared to actually getting tetanus. Saw a case of it once and it's horrible Glad i could help out Now if i could only get mechanically inclined i would be a happy camper NIGHTWING did something similar. I stepped on nail when i was about 7 or 8. Went right through my shoe so far that i had to sit down and pull it out Was having fun and didn't tell my parents My dad noticed me limping later on that night and asked me why. Never did that again man did that hurt when they took a scalpel and opened the wound up!! No drugs! Oh and to this day i bet he had the doc make it hurt worse so i wouldn't do that again. He was worried that i would do something like that again and die or something. The "it wouldn't of hurt that much if i had told them" was mentioned over and over Thanks everyone and glad i could help.

Last edited by judy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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LX 150
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Location: Spokane
Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:36 am quote
I have a daughter going through a case of road-rash and surgery to a broken arm.

One piece of advice that I got from a physical therapist, that I hadn't heard before, was to limit the amount of sun exposure to the new skin/scar for a couple of months.

This will help the scars 'fade away' better.

Don't know how true this is, but worth a try
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:55 am quote
REDUX good point. You should keep the healed area out of the sun for a few months. New skin is not as tough as regular skin and you can get sunburn on the healed area. That will make the scar worse. Fresh aloe vera on the area daily does help with "fading away" of the scar. Best to get a plant and use it fresh than bottled. I have a bunch here in my yard and i use it for a lot of things. Great stuff.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:06 am quote
I always pop a few vitamen E capsules an squeeze the gel onto wounds. It works wonders for cutting down the healing time and preventing some of the scarring.

Cheers,
Jake
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LX150
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:12 am quote
I went down last night and scraped up my left forearm pretty good... nothing worse than i used to get skateboarding or riding dirtbikes, but i forgot how much it can hurt!

anyway, road rash sucks... having a girl in her 20's swerve in front of you on a 10 speed bicycle when you are going 30mph sucks even more... fortunately we are both fine, and the scooter is pretty much ok...she was not even wearing a helmet (in nyc not wearing a helmet is pretty much the stupidest thing you can do, next to swerving across your lane without looking)), so my main concern was that she didn't get hurt, and fortunately she only had some slight road rash on her knee.

there is a small dent where her front fork took a liking to my leg shield... it's amazing how far a scooter can slide without really scratching any paint... the kick start, left hand brake, and passenger foot rest took all the pain for most of the scooter. small scratch on the left cowl...

anyway..

i'm glad i was wearing a jacket (not armored, but a thick canvas vintage jacket that is now sadly trashed) and helmet and gloves... i would most likely have no skin on my left cheek had i not been wearing a full face... likewise my left hand would be largely skinless... not good for a musician.

legs are a good scooter/road pad for the scooter... the leg is not so excited about it's role in the scooter protection program.

i washed my forearm out good (hurt a good bit), put some neosporin on it, put my leg up, ordered some thai food with the wife and called my insurance company...

so yeah... gonna buy a proper armored jacket today (corazzo speedway)... only need to feel what nyc pavement feels like at 30mph once...

oh, and of course, all this 1 block from my house and where the girl on the bike lives...

john
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:23 am quote
glad you are okay. I heard this once or twice:

What you have left:

Full helmet - full face
part helmet - part face
top helmet (or what ever you call them) - no face

And I've heard more than one rider that crashed tell me that all they remembered was the sound of the asphalt sliding across the helmet as they slid across the road.

I use to get "road burns" riding down the hill in a hand made scooter as a kid. And I use to get carpet burn when I would slide down my grandma's carpeted stairs on my tummy, as a child. I guess that could all be classified as road rash. I had skinned knees all summer long as a child. I was quite the tom boy.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:33 am quote
I have read, and taken advice from biker (cycling) forums that using "second skin" type dressings such as Tegaderm accelerates healing and reduces scarring as compared to using gauze dressings. As someone who's had two road-rashed knees I can confirm that using Tegaderm was much more comfortable than the 3 days or so of gauze bandages (changing the dressings HURT 'cause it broke the scabs every time, which also prolongs the healing process).

For smaller patches of road rash, Johnson & Johnson also has "Advanced Healing" pads that are meant for burns that also work very well. But for larger areas, Tegaderm is easier to get in large sheets that you can tape down.

Tegaderm is also transparent so you can see through it to see how you're healing. All that gunky yellow/white fluid means you're healing
Hooked
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:39 am quote
I don't like this post. It's yucky to me and makes me nervous, but I'm glad you posted it. It reminds me of the dangers of the road. Hope nobody has to do this to their skin. Keep safe all.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:14 am quote
Judy that is fantastic advice! You couldn't get that clear of instructions from your own doctor if you called, you ROCK!
Molto Verboso
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:15 am quote
judy wrote:
Burn nurse here Skins my thing!! This what i would and have done to myself and others! As soon as possible wash,scrub the area off with soap and water to get out any debris. The nerve endings will be a little more "dull" and your adrenalin higher right after the injury. So while it will still hurt it won't hurt as much, the sooner you do it. Scrub HARD if there is debris. Then dump a whole bunch of hydrogen peroxide on the area to lift out anything you have missed. This will really not be fun and hurt! Do it any way. Only use the peroxide initially since the article is right about the wound healing. It will delay wound healing if used later on. I would put any type of anti bacterial ointment on triple, single whatever. They have some with lidocaine which will help numb the area. This is a good thing. I've never known the triple antibiotic ointment to delay healing Cover with gauze. Clean daily with mild soap and water and apply ointment. Don't scrub the wound but gently get off the old ointment and clean it. If the bandage is stuck,soak it off with warm water, then clean. Pulling off the stuck dressing takes off the new skin. Not a good thing. Reapply ointment and fresh gauze. It will take 7-10 days to heal. Adaptic/vaseline gauze over the antibiotic cream can be used if needed. Wound will heal from the edges inward. Initially you might get some bleeding. Some may ooze onto the dressing the first day. If it's more than a small amount or continues see a doctor. Exudate/drainage (yellow crap) is normal. Green is not. Green drainage you should see a doc. The area around the wound maybe a little red but if the redness area gets larger and you have a fever,chills get your butt to a doc Tetanus shot should be up to date. 5 years is a cut off to be on the safe side. Lots of road rash and bandages around halloween will get you more candy Scars make great conversation pieces and they usually fade over time Free advice priceless
Tegaderm. I carry it in all of my first aid kits. It's great if you're in the middle of nowhere and you need to cover your wound/wounds until you get to civilization.

It's also good on "chub-rub" I think we all know what I'm talking about, now don't we?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX 150
Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 7075
Location: New Hampshire
Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:08 pm quote
I didn't and had to look it up:

chub-rub

what fat girls experience when their inner-upper thighs rub together so much they get chaffed and rashes break out. It usually is accompanied by sweat and foul odors. chafejock-itch
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:21 pm quote
NightWing wrote:
I didn't and had to look it up:

chub-rub ...
Ewww!
Too much information!
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:30 pm quote
robardin wrote:
For smaller patches of road rash, Johnson & Johnson also has "Advanced Healing" pads that are meant for burns that also work very well.
I have used this stuff (along with Neosporin) on road rash with much success. It speeds up the healing time dramatically. You can (and should) leave it on the wound for several days at a time. It prevents a scab from forming, which means you end up with a less visible scar.
Molto Verboso
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:48 pm quote
NightWing wrote:
I didn't and had to look it up:

chub-rub

what fat girls experience when their inner-upper thighs rub together so much they get chaffed and rashes break out. It usually is accompanied by sweat and foul odors. chafejock-itch
Finally, I can teach you something. I can also tell you that gender has nothing to do with it.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:59 pm quote
My only caution is to use Polysporin or bacitracin rather than Neosporin. I have treated numerous people who have reactions to the neomycin after even a moderate period of use. It looks like it is infected, but is simply a reaction. This won't/shouldn't happen without the neomycin component, and you will get similar wound healing. It is as much the moisturizing from the ointment as the antibiotic, and we are still using way too many antibiotics in any form which causes resistance. Even vasoline under the dressing has been found to help.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:04 pm quote
PDFinal wrote:
My only caution is to use Polysporin or bacitracin rather than Neosporin. I have treated numerous people who have reactions to the neomycin after even a moderate period of use. It looks like it is infected, but is simply a reaction. This won't/shouldn't happen without the neomycin component, and you will get similar wound healing. It is as much the moisturizing from the ointment as the antibiotic, and we are still using way too many antibiotics in any form which causes resistance. Even vasoline under the dressing has been found to help.
I have to agree, it is quite common that people become allergic to neosporin because of repeated exposure to the neomycin component of it. The resulting allergic reaction can then be confused with worsening infection. Neomycin is also in some immunizations and is the cause of some of the reactions to those same immunizations rather than the active immunizing agent itself.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:07 pm quote
And for chafing, this is good stuff:

http://www.monistat.com/soothingcare/request_sample_buffer.htm
Hooked
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:38 pm quote
I had to look it up too. (chub rub) one site said to just use deoderant like unsented secret and it will work as well. wouldn't use it on road rash though.
Molto Verboso
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Joined: 09 Apr 2007
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:31 am quote
NightWing wrote:
I didn't and had to look it up:

chub-rub

what fat girls experience when their inner-upper thighs rub together so much they get chaffed and rashes break out. It usually is accompanied by sweat and foul odors. chafejock-itch
Like road rash/gravel rash - is prevention not better than cure?
Hooked
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Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:29 pm quote
Road Rash
In the summer wear a ballistic nylon jacket and pant.
They are cool and comfortable and protect you against road rash.

In the winter wear motorcycle jacket & pants.

If you want to look cool and not have that overly protected look.

Get a cool leather jacket and the Kevlar lined jeans.

Regular jeans will wear through in 4 feet of sliding.

I went down when I was racing, wearing full leathers at over 70 miles an hour and did not get one bit of road rash.

You still can look cool and be protected.

Thanks

Joe
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Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:11 pm quote
Chub-rub? I never knew that condition had a name!

You can avoid this by wearing pants instead of dresses/skirts.
Molto Verboso
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Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:20 pm quote
All the more reason for kevlar pants and chin high boots. Great post and insights Judy....

ride safe all.

aloha...
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Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:46 pm quote
robardin wrote:
I have read, and taken advice from biker (cycling) forums that using "second skin" type dressings such as Tegaderm accelerates healing and reduces scarring as compared to using gauze dressings.
My boyfriend actually just recovered from a motorcycle crash. He had a fair amount of road rash - after week 1, he put tegaderm on it, and after week 2, the two spots of road rash were completely gone. The skin was very pink, but it was skin, not scar or scab. It was amazing.
Molto Verboso
'07 GTS 250ie, '09 MP3 500, '06 Harley Sportster '14 Ural Gear Up
Joined: 30 May 2008
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Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:47 am quote
Great advice Judy. I'd throw in some Vitamin C and zinc if possible. I still wonder about usage of the polysporin ointment and its relationship to MRSA. I'd probably still go with the vaseline with a topical antibiotic. I've had a few patients coming in with a gooey looking wound and find out they are either using alcohol or peroxide to clean it. Plus they are still smoking!!! I tell my diabetics to keep their sugars under tighter control.
Since I am FP, prevention is key. Got to get some armored clothing.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
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Location: north shore oahu hawaii usa
Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:58 am quote
Thanks OSTEOPATH. What are your thoughts on tegaderm. I didn't put it in simply because i personally would rather have somebody looking at the wound everyday and cleaning it properly. I've learned over the years that biologic dressings are good how ever some people think that once they put them on it will automatically work. Don't even look at the wound Ive had more than one patient put tegaderm on, wrap it up and didn't look at it until 10 days later Major infection. I use the kiss approach,keep it simple stupid (kiss) Tegaderm does work well but people have to use it correctly. Good point on the vit C and zinc. Used to throw in some folic acid into the mix on our inpatients. JAKE vit e is good also.
Molto Verboso
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Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:11 am quote
I would use tegaderm for a very small abrasion that isn't complicated. Unless they can put a small vaccuum, negative pressure over the wound rigged under the tegaderm. I've seen that done by wound care teams on ulcerations. (Hopefully no one here on MV will be tempted to put the Hoover on their wound!! The suction is too strong!!) I'd probably go with adaptic with a gauze covering. It gets some air to the wound without totally occluding it. Changing the gauze bandage is its own wet to dry debridement.
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