February is the time when many folks begin to gear back up their
training, whether it's on the bike or running. Remember, we're here for
all you sports medicine needs and are on hand 24/7 at 864-675-HURT.
Road Rash: Treat Abrasions Right
By Kenny Cabe, ATC
Greenville and Spartanburg areas have become a hot bed of cycling in
recent years. We are seeing everything from road racing to mountain
biking, and with each of them comes the inevitable crash. One cyclist
told me "if you ride enough, it's not a matter if you will crash, but
when and how often". Abrasions occur in other sports and activities as
well, it is vital that the wounds be cleaned properly in order to
facilitate healing and speed recovery, but also to prevent
complications. The complications that can occur can range from simple
infections to the extremely serious MRSA or staph infection. MRSA has
become more and more prevalent in our society.
aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly
carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25%
to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but
not causing an infection) in the nose with staph. Sometimes, staph can
cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of
skin infections in the United States. Most of these infections are
minor (such as pimples & boils) and can be treated without
antibiotics. However, staph also can cause serious infections (such as
surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia). Some
staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph
that is resistant to some antibiotics. While 25% to 30% of the
population is colonized with staph, approximately 1% is colonized with
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
MRSA (CA-MRSA) are MRSA infections in persons who have not been
recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical
procedure. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually
manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in
otherwise healthy people.
The CDC has investigated clusters
of CA-MRSA skin infections among athletes, military recruits, children,
and other populations having close contact with each other or share
communal facilities. Factors that have been associated with the spread
of MRSA skin infections include: close skin-to-skin contact, openings
in the skin such as cuts or abrasions, contaminated items and surfaces,
crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene.
How can I prevent staph or MRSA skin infections?
Practice good hygiene: Keep your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.
Shower immediately after activity.
How should I care for my wound when I do get one?
Clean the affected area immediately with an antiseptic, antimicrobial skin cleanser. One of the more widely used is hibiclens.
Apply an antibiotic ointment.
Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
Change the dressing daily or multiple times daily as needed.
Keep the wound covered until it has healed.
Do not allow the area to scab over, as this will trap bacteria in the wound.
If you have any questions, ask one of our Certified Athletic Trainers by calling our 24/7 hotline, 864-675-HURT.
January | ClubSouth Volleyball at the Pavilion
If you are interested in having a St. Francis Sports Medicine trainer speak or be present at your athletic event, please send us an email
The St. Francis Sports Medicine Team