Q: What is the proper wound care for road rash?
Amy Marsh answers
A: Sooner or later, all cyclists take a tumble. (Sorry, but it’s true.) You’ll most likely walk away with some road rash, which is bike geek for redness, small scrapes and possibly a little bruising. Though it may seem like a minor wound, letting your road rash go uncleaned can lead to problems you don’t ever want to experience.
Lick your wounds — just not literally — with these four easy steps to help prevent infection.
1. Wash the affected area as soon as you get home. Using warm water, gently wipe the dirt and grime from the scrape. This may sting a little, but it’s important to get all of the debris out of the open wound.
2. Apply an antibiotic ointment. This will help prevent infection and prevent the scab from cracking when you move.
3. Cover the entire area with a loose, non-stick bandage or gauze to keep bacteria from settling in. You want to keep the wound clean and moist at all times, so change the dressing frequently.
4. Pop some ibuprofen — the sooner, the better. It will help with any inflammation caused by the spill.
WARNING: Seek medical attention if your wound becomes increasingly painful and/or remains inflammed and swollen after several days. These are signs of something more serious.
Amy Marsh is a four time Ironman champion, two time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.