How To Treat Road Rash


Not to be confused to the video game series, Road Rash, this form of road rash a little more serious and scary. Road rash occurs when the skin makes physical contact with the pavement or road. Sometimes this word is used to describe the current state of the skin or to the scar that is in place of the previous rash. It is an important life skill to know how to treat road rash, especially during emergencies.

What Is Road Rash?

The smell of burnt rubber mixed with scrapped skin, bruised body parts and bloody skin is the essential gist of road rash. Road rash is a skin injury that is caused when the road or pavement interacts with the body/skin during an accident. Road rash can range from small and barely visible to gapping wounds and bloody skin. Unfortunately, accidents are bound to happen and understanding how to treat road rash is a must.

Who Is At Risk?

Everyone who puts themselves behind the wheel of a car, motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard and skates is at risk of getting road rash. This form of rash is not contradicted by touching an infected person but due to an accident with the road. Sometimes you need to watch out for others and not yourselves. While you may have done your due diligence, other motorists can cause accidents whether you are prepared or not.

How To Treat Road Rash

How To Treat Road Rash

At The Scene

Treating road rash can be a beneficial thing to learn for both you and others. The knowledge of how to treat a road rash can help yourself and others who may be in dire need of medical attention. The following is the best way to treat road rash on scene:

Wash the affected area: Obviously it would be ideal if you have a wound cleanser with you, but not everyone carries something like that in their pocket or purse. If you do not have a wound cleanser, then clean the affected area with clean water. While on the scene of an accident, using water from a nearby puddle can make the rash worse and cause infection. Once you have washed the area, wrap a clean towel, shirt or gauze around the area and wait for paramedics to arrive.

At Home

The following are steps on how to treat road rash at home:

  1. Wash the area with a wound cleanser or clean water. Remember not to use peroxide, even if your grandmother says its good for you.
  2. Next you should apply some form of antibiotic ointment on the area to help keep the affected area clean.
  3. After applying the ointment, you should wrap the area in sterilized gauze, but not too tight.
  4. Monitor the healing process and make sure you do not see anything strange or infection-like.
  5. If you notice that the area begins to be more painful, swelling occurs, a strange discharge or pus, flu-like symptoms, or if there is an increased redness, contact your doctor asap.
  6. Once the wound has passed the healing process, apply moisturizing lotion to the area to help with reducing scarring.

If you need help applying ointment or bandages, do not hesitate to ask someone. It is better to ask for help first than follow additional steps because the area has become infected from improper treatment. A key thing to note is that if the road rash is extensive and needs immediate medical attention, do not play Dr. House and stitch up the wound yourself. Let the medical professionals do their job.

How To Treat Road Rash


There are certainly precautionary measures that one can take to avoid road rash. Some of these precautions may seem obvious but it is such a shame as to how many people succumb to road rashes because of their inability to do what is right. Below is a lit of prevention tips to avoid road rash in the future.

  • Always wear your helmet and make sure it fits properly
  • Wear hand, knee and elbow pads, especially children
  • Buy and wear the proper gear to prevent road rash
  • Seek medical attention immediately after an accident to get the best treatment possible
  • Wear bright colors to avoid being struck by motorists or cyclists
  • Use precaution when driving or riding
  • Do not drive or ride in bad weather conditions (rain, snow and excess wind)