Bicyclists and motorcyclists in particular face a lot of risks on the road that other drivers do not. This includes an increased chance of suffering from traumatic tattoos.
What exactly are these tattoos? How do they impact a person’s health, and how does a victim deal with them?
Types of traumatic tattoos
The National Library of Medicine discusses traumatic tattoos and how they occur. These tattoos are not traditional tattoos, of course, but get their name from the fact that foreign objects or debris can end up embedded in the flesh below the surface of the skin, showing through the outer layers of skin.
Road rashes are also a type of traumatic tattooing. These so-called rashes occur when someone skids across the pavement at a high speed, often after being flung from their vehicle during a crash. Contact with the pavement at this speed ends up grinding away layers of flesh and may result in bits of road debris getting embedded in the injury.
It is important for medical professionals to clear these injuries out as fast as possible. In emergency rooms, medical staff will keep around the tools necessary to clean up such wounds and remove debris.
The risk of infection
If left unchecked, debris embedded in the skin – especially dirty debris – can transfer bacteria and other harmful particles to the bloodstream, leading to widespread and dangerous infection. If enough skin is exposed to injury via abrasions, this can also increase a victim’s chance of getting infected. It is also possible for a victim to need skin grafts in the future, as this can reduce risk of infection.