One of the issues with mountain biking is that skill advancement sometimes leads to mistakes, mistakes lead to crashes and crashes lead to cuts, scrapes and bruises. A well cleaned, well treated and well maintained wound heals better, is less likely to experience post wound complications and is less likely to leave a visible scar.
A small, well stocked, medical kit can help resolve minor cuts, scrapes, grazes and bruises in a clean and simple fashion. Mine contains things like:
An extra soft tooth brush (in its sterile wrapper) – to remove the grit and from cuts and scrapes (if you do not do it a nurse will do it for you later and she will NOT be gentle) in addition to flushing with quantities of sterile saline (or worst case clean water). This is obviously a one use item.
Lavender oil or balm – effective and more gentle on torn or abraded skin than tea tree oil.
Advanced Healing Cuts & Scapes Bandages (these use the same gel/ moisture/ wound theory that has been used to successfully treat burns ie if one avoids a hard & dry scab then there is less pulling between the cut/ scrape/ new skin and the old skin and therefore less potential for scar formation) – these are also water proof and can stay on the wound for 5-7 days helping protect it and assist healing.
Meopore dressings for larger scrapes.
Traumeel for bruises and minor aches and sprains.
Calendula cream helps with healing of small cuts and scrapes (get one that has no or minimal synthetic chemical ingredients in it).
I also carry ‘knuckle’ dressings (for odd spots), 2-3 pieces of tubi-grip (to hold dressings in place and protect them), butterfly bandages and steri-strips (for clean small cuts) and a variety of ‘band-aid’ type dressings in various sizes. I also carry sports tape for those times when grit or sweat is not helping dressings to stay in place (normally the first immediately post crash dressing before one can do a proper clean up).
Note: this post is not medical advice. The blog is offered in the context that anyone that self administers their own first aid has some current basic first aid training, an awareness of basic health and hygiene and wound care and accepts responsibility for their own actions. As always, when in doubt (and for large or deep grazes) see your doctor or qualified health professional.