Warmer weather brings an influx of both motorcycles and bicycles to north Georgia roadways. If you regularly ride either, you likely know about road rash. This condition occurs when your skin rubs against a rough surface, such as a paved or gravel road. You may not realize, though, that road rash may lead to long-term health complications.
The best way to protect yourself from road rash is to wear protective gear every time you ride. A high-quality jacket, reinforced pants and durable gloves should be part of your riding wardrobe. Nonetheless, even with your best efforts, a collision with a distracted, negligent or careless motorist may expose you to road rash. Here are three possible complications from this type of injury.
Edema is possible anywhere your body sustains trauma. This condition occurs when fluid accumulates near the wound. Unfortunately, edema may interfere with blood flow. In extreme cases, it may also cause tissue damage or organ failure.
The outer layer of the skin is an effective barrier against bacterial infections. Regrettably, though, because road rash may damage large sections of the epidermis, you have an increased risk of developing an infection. While many infections are treatable with antibiotics, some are difficult to manage. An out-of-control infection may result in additional complications, such as limb amputation or organ damage.
When recovering from road rash, your body must grow new skin. Regrown skin, however, may not have the same characteristics as your existing skin. While scarring may be unsightly, it can also be painful. Even worse, scarred skin may be increasingly vulnerable to additional injuries.
Following any type of motorcycle or bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical treatment. After all, some injuries may not show up immediately. Nonetheless, if you have road rash, working with your doctor to minimize your potential for developing long-term complications is essential.