How to Cure Road Rash


Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide...it's as simple as that.


I remember back in 1999 or so when I got into this ridiculous crash at Greenwood or some other "in the middle of nowhere" bike race.  I ended up gliding along on my beautifully sculpted quad and turned the whole darn thing into hamburger (as gliding along on blacktop at 30 mpg is bound to do).

When I got to my feet and started shaking, I headed over to the nurse who was standing around at the end of the bike race for just that reason, but before I even let her talk to me, I just grabbed a rag and started vigorously rubbing the dirt and pebbles and old flattened coins that had embedded themselves into my leg.

"Sir..." she tried to interrupt, but I wanted nothing of it.

"SHHHHHH!"  I replied, and continued to just hammer my leg with these brisk up and down motions like an old washer woman fighting with one of those washer boards down by the river.

People wandered by and looked at me with perplexed stares apparently trying to figure out why I was doing that to myself...but it seemed like the right thing to do.  When I finally consented to have the nurse take a look at me, she told me that I go home and get some Hydrogen Peroxide and pour it over the wound.

"It won't hurt" she said.

"Ok," I thought, it can't be worse than rubbing the wound raw with an old rag.

So I did what she said and bought the bottle and went home and stood in the shower.  Without even thinking about it, I dumped half the bottle on my leg and nearly punched out the sliding glass door of the shower in response to the sudden and almost overwhelming pain.  Obviously the nurse had a different definition of the words "won't hurt" than I did.  For a moment, I was tempted to jump in my car and drive out to Greenwood to explain the discrepancy in our thinking face to face, but by then the fight had gone out of me and I decided to just curl up in front of the TV instead.
My big, gaping wound of road rash sat there glistening in the sun for the next couple days, prohibiting me from wearing anything but shorts that were short enough to not constantly dangle upon the oozing region.  After a while I was pleased to note that the thing seemed to be scabbing over.  However, my joy turned to despair as I realized it really wasn't so much scabbing over as it was being covered up by some nasty greenish pond that looked like the kind of swamp people used to sink bodies in.  After two or three days of this, I decided to start scraping off that horrific ooze and hitting the thing with Hydrogen Peroxide.

The white foamy assault of Hydrogen Peroxide always stings a bit, but after about another week, the horrific gaping maw of pestilence and decay that was my leg sealed back up and I was ready for the firehouse 50 (where EVERYBODY crashes).  But honestly, since that whole ordeal, I haven't been so afraid of road rash...I know how to take care of that now (at least, I can keep it sufficiently under control that my leg won't get amputated...and that's good enough for me!).

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