Any areas of a motorcycle rider’s skin that are not protected may sustain road rash in a Virginia accident. RideApart.com notes that wearing a riding suit or jacket and pants with built-in armor is the best way to keep skin from coming into contact with the road as the rider slides or rolls across it. Gloves with palm sliders are especially important, as people naturally try to catch themselves in a fall with the palms of their hands.

Healthline.com explains that road rash is the typical name for the abrasions that occur from the friction between the skin and the road. Any wound that involves scraping the skin away can be very painful, even if it is not serious, because of the nerve endings in the skin.

  • A first-degree abrasion is a scrape that takes only the top layer of skin off. These don’t usually bleed, and riders can treat them at home by washing them gently and removing dirt and other particles from the skin. It is usually better to leave a first-degree abrasion uncovered rather than applying a bandage.
  • A second-degree abrasion will probably bleed, as the dermis is damaged. Even though this second layer of skin is affected, a rider may still be able to treat the wound at home. However, if there is bleeding that does not stop after five minutes of applying pressure, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. 
  • A third-degree abrasion penetrates the dermis and causes harm to the tissues underneath. Riders with a wound this severe may need immediate medical attention. 

Infection is a serious and common side effect of road rash. If the wound doesn’t heal, the skin remains painful and irritated, or there is pus or other discharge, a rider may need to visit the doctor.