Difference between skid mark and 1st degree tear - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 12-20-2003, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I understand what they both are, however I'm not really sure of the difference.

A skid mark was explained to me like falling off your bike and skinning your knee, basically road rash, so it's only a skin thing.

A first degree tear is a tear that is only the skin, no muscle involved.

OK so basically how do you get skid marks, I thought if you weren't stretching enough you would just tear, even if that was inside?

Because from my understanding you can tear inside or out, so it's not like it's skid marks on the inside, and tears on the outside KWIM.

Last it's my understanding that some 1st degree tears can/do/need to get stiched, so they have to be deeper than skid marks, am I making any sense, we have colds here, so I'm not sleeping much. LOL

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#2 of 2 Old 12-21-2003, 02:18 PM
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I had 2 skid marks and a tear at my homebirth, and had a lengthy discussion w/ visual aids w/ my midwige as she explained the differences.

Seriously, use a knitted garmet/blanket as a mental image in your mind--something like a crocheted afgan, with nice open stiches and a little bit of stretch.

The afgan, not stretched, is your skin. When you pull on it, you'll see the threads and stiches begin to separate...that's a skid mark; the skin is compromized & under stress. If you pulled it even harder--ouch--it might not stretch out and be compromized, it might just give way, and that's a tear. No muscle is involved in either scenario. (Muscle is ALWAYS CUT during an episiotomy.)

With a skid mark, most of the tissue is stretching: the underlying muscle, fat 'n' tissue on top of that, and most of the layers of skin (but not the most superficial layer[s], hence, the injury.)

With a tear, the muscle stretches, but there's not enough oppertunity for the skin to also stretch, so it gives way.

My skid marks looked like a skinned knee, an abrasion. The thing that caused the abrasion was the pulling of tissues, versus the scraping of tissue on a hard surface like a skinned knee.

My skid marks caused terrible burning pain when peeing--but only for the first 24 hours! I was AMAZED at how quickly they healed, just like any injury in the mouth does. The peri-bottle sprayed on one's bottom while peeing during those early post-partum moments is the key to peing comfort.

I have always thought the term 'skid mark' comes from the idea that the baby was speeding out of the vagina such that there wasn't quite enough time for the skin to stretch completely, so there's a bit of abrasion.

(FTR, the fact that I suffered skid marks and a tear is not a reflection of the perils of birth, rather, they are a direct consequence of my 1st birth w/ a episiotomy w/ a "husband's stitch," which caused my vaginal opening to be tighter without the structural integrity of a regular episiotomy. So no freaking out and worrying that everone suffers perineal trauma during birth :LOL )
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