Rope burns are classified as a friction burn, since they involve abrasion of the top layer of skin and thermal burning due to the friction and heat produced by the speed and pressure of the rope rubbing the skin. By assessing the depth and size of a burn, keeping the wound clean and treating it quickly, rope burns can be dealt with properly. Since anything, including rope, which abrades the skin can contain the tetanus bacteria, it is vital to keep up with tetanus vaccinations if your activities could involve friction burns.
Tips & Warnings
Keep a first aid kit in the car, or in your backpack or daypack. Make sure you have antibiotic cream or salve, gauze and bandages, and some form of pain/inflammation medication.
Keep a small plastic bottle of sterile water on hand, that can be used for wound and eye irrigation, and is separate from drinking water. Do not use river or lake water, or water from a container someone has been drinking from unless absolutely necessary, as this can infect the wound.
Avoid rope burn by wearing gloves and long sleeves and pants where possible.
When handling rope avoid becoming tangled in it by keeping the loops away from feet.
Do not grab a rope that is being pulled away by a vehicle, watercraft, or person unless your life depends on it.
Article Written By Ann R.B. Summers
Ann R.B. Summers writes professionally about food, science, nature, nutrition, fitness and healthy living. She is the author of "Healthy Lunch, Healthy Mind," and has regular articles in "Food and Spirits." She has a B.A. in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Society for Professional Journalists.