Also known as raspberries or strawberries, road rash wounds are a type of skin abrasion. Most road rash wounds are minor injuries that you can easily treat at home if you know the right steps to take.

Here’s your quick guide to road rash:

Woman holding knee after falling off bikeBiking accidents are common causes of road rash.

What is road rash?

Caused by an unfortunate run-in with a rough surface, road rash occurs when a layer of skin is scraped away from the body. Road rash injuries commonly result from falls when biking, skateboarding or running outside. Severe injuries that rip away multiple layers of tissue may require skin grafting surgery to repair the damage. However, minor road rash should heal within two weeks with proper treatment, according to UW Health.

What are the symptoms?

The affected skin will look red and raw, with bleeding possible depending on the injury. Verywell Health noted that road rash is generally very painful. However, the deepest parts of the road rash may lose feeling if the wound damaged the nerve cells.

How can you treat road rash at home?

Follow these road rash treatment steps to promote fast healing:

  1. Wash your hands. Dirt, bacteria or other substances on your hands can cause infection so be sure to cleanse them before touching the road rash.
  2. Clean the affected area. Use mild soap and water to wash away dirt and other debris. Healthline noted that you should avoid scrubbing or applying excess pressure because it could cause additional damage or bleeding. Use sanitized tweezers to remove any remaining grass, rock, dirt or other debris.
  3. Apply an antibiotic ointment. Carefully rub an antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, over the affected area to prevent bacteria from infecting the wound.
  4. Cover the road rash. Dress the injury with sterile gauze, securing it with medical tape.
  5. Change the dressing once a day. Repeat these steps each day to keep the wound clean and moist.

Healthline advised seeking medical attention in the following circumstances:

  • Muscle or bone is visible.
  • A large object is embedded in the wound.
  • The road rash covers a large surface area, such as an entire limb.
  • The wound will not stop bleeding.
  • There are signs of infection, such as pus, drainage, redness, swelling and increased pain.

In the event that your road rash requires more serious medical attention, talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue. We’ll send your prescribed treatment supplies straight to your front door, complete with single-dose packaging and custom video tutorials for easy at-home wound care.