So if you find yourself ever sitting in a similar situation, and you're wondering how best to care to your cycling crash wounds, this post is for you.
Three simple steps:
1. Shower - This is by far the most painful step of all. But after sliding over pavement with who knows what in it ... you're going to want to scrub that thing clean. Yelling is often a common side-effect with this step... but if it gets infected ... you're only going to yell more. Just do it.
2. Antibiotic Ointment - Put it on.
3. Dressings - If you are like 97% of racers out there, you have to go to work on Monday. Therefore, unless you want your oozing wound to get all over your dress clothes you're going to need to cover it. WARNING ... there are some simple Do's and Do Not's when it comes to covering road rash:
Never ever use anything which will stick to the wound ... Once that puppy starts to heal, anything which does not specifically stay moist, or have a non-stick feature, will in fact stick and it WILL pull your skin every. single. time. you. change. the. gauze. That means don't use your conventional gauze pads which you would put on a normal cut with blood. Road rash is different and requires different products. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Great option ... non-stick gauze pads. You should probably order some right now. You're going to need them if you keep racing. It's unavoidable and it will happen someday. These things come off and on easy and will make you very happy when changing the gauze.
The grand-daddy of healing options. Tegaderm. This thing actually suctions around the wound and will keep it nice and moist for days while the healing process takes place. Make sure you buy a size large enough to cover the entire rash outside the sticky edges. You don't want the sticky part ON the wound. It will create catastrophic pain and well ... more yelling will ensue.
Ideally, you are a road/crit ninja and never ever crash. But for those of you who are mortal and find yourself in situations where the rubber side is NOT down ... i'll see you occasionally in the medical isle of your local grocery store.