Road rash

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Road rash
Fresh road rash and its resultant scarring one year later

Road rash is a colloquial term for skin injury caused by abrasion with road surfaces, often as a consequence of cycling and motorcycling accidents. It may also result from inline skating, roller skating, skateboarding, and longboarding accidents.

The term may be applied to both a fresh injury and also to the scar tissue left by an old injury. Symptoms may include pain and heavy bleeding.

Motorcyclists can reduce the risks of road rash by wearing appropriate motorcycle personal protective equipment such as a full face helmet, protective clothing, gloves and boots. Similarly, inline skaters can reduce their chance of such abrasion injuries by wearing protective knee and elbow pads.

Road rash is often termed 'gravel rash' in the United Kingdom.[1] The term is old and is mentioned in Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901).[2]


  1. ^ Heap G. Gravel Rash. Br Med J 1959;2:697
  2. ^ Kipling, Rudyard (1901). Kim. Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

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