Friday, March 31, 2017

Skinned Knees (Friday Five Edition)

Warning: This post contains pictures of skinned knees and blood.  If this is something that you rather not look at, please feel free to skip this post.

On my Saturday run I fell and skinned my knees pretty badly.  I was in mile 4 of 12 and tripped on uneven sidewalks.  Thankfully there was a training team running part of my route and their follow up car stopped to help me clean up.  Unfortunately I have to say this is not the first time.  Not even the first time this year.  I tend to fall on a run 2-3 times a year as I'm just a klutz.  Here are 5 things I've learned on how to take care of skinned knees.

Please note: I am not a doctor of any kind.  This is what I have found to be useful.  Please consult a doctor if necessary.

1. Clean the wound out -  The last couple times I have fallen bad enough to break the skin, I was lucky enough to have someone around who had baby wipes or a first aid kit to help me clean out my wound right there.  Other times, my run was short enough that I could finish my run.  On Saturday I found that if I didn't run into the other training team I probably would have headed back to my car because the cuts were pretty bad.  You can buy baby wipes individually wrapped and I used to carry them in my race belt.  I need to get back into that habit. 

After the run on Saturday.

2. Stop running - This is true if the scrap hurts you enough that your gait changes.  Mostly due to the adrenaline I was able to finish my run on Saturday, even though it was hurting towards the end of the run.  But when I tried to run a couple days later I found that the scab was forming and making it hard for me to bend my knee all the way.  I decided to continue the run, but just walk it.  I found that towards the end of the first mile the scab loosened up enough that it didn't change my gait when I ran.  It's best to walk or skip runs and not hurt something else.

3. Ice - Along with the scrapes there is also inflammation.  Once you get home from your run, after the fall, clean up the wound and then put ice on it.  This will help the healing process.  I know I do not usually think of putting ice on a scrape, but it does help.

4. Ointment - Using an antibiotic when cleaning out the wound will help if from getting infected.  After it's cleaned up and the scabbing process starts, the ointment that is my go to is Aquaphor to help keep the skin from drying out.  I use this for a lot of things, especially chafing.  Aquaphor is a lot like Vaseline except Aquaphor has other ingredients in it besides petrolatum that help it absorb into the skin and speeds up the healing. 

5. Dressing - There are different schools of thought on if you should cover up a wound.  My thoughts are it should be covered if your are doing something where it can get dirty or if clothing will be irritating it.  This week we have been lucky enough to have warm weather, so I have been wearing shorts as to not irritate the wounds.  But at night, because of the sheets I have covered them.  The first night I covered both knees.  After that, since one knee wasn't too bad and had a good scab on it, I stopped covering it.

I cover the would with a non-stick pad and use tape to secure it very loosely.

I found that I had some underwrap left over from something else (I really don't remember what).  Underwrap, also known as pre-tape, is a thin foam like bandage usually used as a base under adhesive tape.  I have been using that to wrap around the pad and lightly taped the wrap.  The only reason I have been doing that is to help keep the pad from being snagged as I toss and turn throughout the night.

Do you have any other tips about skinned knees?  Do you usually cover the wound 24/7 or just as needed?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0


  1. Ouch! Sorry this happened. I can't believe you continued to run.

  2. Those darn sidewalks can be tricky!I have not fallen in a while (knock on wood) hope your knees are feeling better

    1. Feeling much better, thanks! The Aquaphor is working really well.

  3. Ugh... those do look like pretty bad scrapes. That's great that there were people there to help clean it up. I never thought about ice for something like this but that makes a lot of sense when you explain it :)

    1. Yeah, I never thought about it till my PT said something.

  4. ouch!!! one of my running friends fell two weeks ago and skinned her knee up pretty badly (and sprained her ankle). We also stopped and got her to my other friends house really quickly to clean it up, ice it (and her ankle) and eventually put a bandage on it. We bandaged it because she still had to get home and we didn't think her knee should come into contact with any dirt or bacteria.

    I did a first aid course and I do think bandaging is a good idea in the beginning.

    1. Yes, defiantly, wrap it to keep it clean.