Saturday, October 13, 2007

Road Rash Ain't So Bad

There are certain life-changing elements in this world that so exceed their purpose, that lift up all things around them, that propel humanity to such great lengths, that I refer to them as “magic.”  These are the things that raise the proverbial “bar” so high, that to forego their influence sets back human evolution by decades.  Let me give you a few examples:  In food, those things that have achieved magic status are, roasted garlic on garlic bread, nutmeg in Fettuccini Alfredo, and peanut butter in chocolate chip cookies.  Don’t believe me?  Give it a try, and you’ll be taken to a place where you can’t help but wonder how you had previously lived your life in such relative despair.  In wound care, there are two items that have attained magic status.  These are Tegaderm dressing and PolyMem QuadraFoam.

I was introduced to these items a few years back after executing a dive so perfectly, it would make Greg Louganis’ own mother lament, “Why can’t my son do that?”  Unfortunately, my ‘dive’ happened to be a 30 MPH bicycle end-o while descending Mt. Hamilton.  

A few hospital visits, and copious amounts of bandaging later, I was completely sold on the value of proper wound care.TegadermTegaderm looks like nothing more than clear plastic wrap.  However it is a hellava lot more expensive and works a hellava lot better.  After cleaning the wound (no alcohol please), all you do is apply this stuff just like you would a bandage.  Then you leave it alone.  It sticks to your skin, but doesn’t stick to the wound.  No more agonizing bandage changing.  Anyway, the wound never dries.  This lets it heal while minimizing scarring and avoiding all of the problems with peeling, sticking, and cracking scabs.   Don’t ask me how it does this, just accept it as magic.   

The only real ‘problem’ with Tegaderm, is that it leaks.  Sorry if I get gross here, but the puss, yellow crap, and any other kind of liquid that oozes from your sores will find its way out from under the Tegaderm and onto your clothes.  Enter QuadraFoam.

PolyMen QuadraFoamPolyMem QuadraFoam seems like nothing more than a pink sponge.  However, it is excellent at absorbing all the exudate (aka. ooze), and if you believe the manufacturer, it “provides a warm, moist, healing environment that promotes formation of granulation tissue and reepithelialization.”   I don’t know what that means, but I believe them.   

Road rash is certainly something we all would rather do without.  However, if you ride more than a few thousand miles a year, you are bound to accumulate your fair share of it.    Plan ahead people!  Get some Tegaderm at the drug store or on-line, and some QuadraFoam anywhere you can find it.  This stuff isn’t as cheap as a bandage, but doesn’t work like one either.  No joke people, once you try these, you’ll never go back.  They are Magic.