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What should you know about traumatic tattoos?

Motorcyclists do not have the same sort of protection that drivers in covered vehicles have. Because of that, they are at a higher risk for certain types of injury.

This includes traumatic tattoos. But what exactly are these injuries? How do they impact a victim?

Defining traumatic tattoos

The National Library of Medicine discusses traumatic tattoos and what they are. Traumatic tattoos refer to injuries in which some type of foreign matter ends up embedded into the skin. This can happen through things like explosions, which cause shrapnel to become lodged under the skin.

It can also happen in motorcycle accidents. For example, the injury colloquially known as “road rash” could be a form of traumatic tattooing. Road rash occurs when part of the skin comes into contact with the road at high speeds. The friction and rough texture of the road essentially act like sandpaper, shredding the skin through several layers.

It is common for grit, debris and other foreign materials to end up embedded in the flesh during this process. Of course, emergency medical teams know to keep an eye out for this, so they have equipment to help them scour the injuries in the emergency room.

Why cleaning the wound is crucial

Why is it so important to get the debris out of the injury, though? In short, it opens up the possibility for major, serious infections if left within the skin. The embedded debris in and of itself is likely incredibly dirty, and leaving it within the skin could irritate the tissue around it, invoking inflammation and increasing infection risk.

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