Yikes! Here is the results if not following my newly learned road rash treatment. It is my son's slow healing crusty knee. I vowed to not let this happen again. But, as he is fifteen, and not certain of my wisdom in these matters, I am not so sure that he will be thrilled with my intervention. He prefers to take care of these things himself.
So, when my youngest son, Finn, tumbled on the playground and scraped his elbow filled with gravel bits and dripping with blood, I sadly had my opportunity to test out the techniques that I outlined in the article on Road Rash on this site.
I took Finn into my bathroom and hauled out our replenished first aid kit. He was sobbing and fearful of the stinging Bactine that I sometimes have resorted to. 'Not this time,' I told him. I sprayed a mild sterile saline solution from a compressed canister onto his scrape to clean it out of rubble and other debris. The only sting came from the pressure of the water. His crying subsided. I patted it dry with a sterile gauze when the it was entirely clean. I had to manually remove two small bits of dirt from under his skin with tweezers. He hated that, but let me anyway. After that, I applied a thin clear sheet of Tegaderm, a 3M product. Then secured it along the edges with paper skin tape and a final covering of a white sterile pad and tape to protect the Tegaderm.
The pad only lasted until the next day with a new change of tape, he preferred it without the cover, and this way we had a window into his healing elbow. This allowed us to check a few times a day for infection. We changed the Tegaderm once over the first four days, and after that the wound had shrunk so significantly and was so supple that we removed the clear plastic cover and recovered with a bandage. His skin reacted to the tape of the bandage, blistering up where the tape was with red dots. But the original scrape was in fine form, having reduced in size by about 80%! Not once did the healing scab turn crusty as our older son's had, nor did it crack open when he bent his elbow.
I am sold on this technique. I only wish I'd known about it longer. If any one else has experience with this cleaning and healing technique, please do comment!
Cheers and happy bandaging!