An injury as small as a papercut can become a serious health problem if not treated properly.
Everybody experiences a cut like this or a wound at some point (if not often) in their lives. So, everyone should know the signs of an infected wound, in case things don’t heal as they’re supposed to, to keep things from getting worse.
Keep reading to find out more about wounds and the 5 biggest signs of an infection.
Before You Assess an Infected Wound, Ask Yourself This
How did you get the wound and how did you treat it immediately?
Cuts, medically known as lacerations, happen from objects breaking the skin. They can be shallow or deep.
If you get a wound from rusty metal, seek medical attention rather than waiting for things to get worse. The same thing goes for if you get a wound with stuff stuck in it that you can’t get out.
Both of these things are common causes of infection, so it’s important to seek help when you need it.
As far as minor wounds go, following basic care and first aid rules should help you steer clear of infection. This means cleaning your cut with iodine, antiseptic ointment, or rubbing alcohol (not with soap) and then covering it with a clean bandage.
If the wound is big and bleeds a lot, again, seek urgent medical attention.
Even if you take proper care, infection is still possible. Here are 5 common signs of a wound that isn’t doing so well.
1. Persistent Redness
It’s normal for a wound to be red for a little while after it happens.
It’s not normal for it to continue to be red or for the redness to spread.
2. Abnormal Pus
Sorry that we have to talk about this not-so-lovely detail, but it’s important.
Pus, or liquor puris, is a protein-rich fluid that’s really just a buildup of white blood cells. Pus is how your body fights infection — so it’s totally normal to see pus coming from your wound.
However, it should be clear or yellowish. It shouldn’t be green, smelly, or cloudy.
If it is, this may be an indication that bacteria has infected your wound.
Again, it may be normal for your wound to have swelling around it when it happens, especially if the injury happened with force.
If swelling continues, it may be a sign that things aren’t healing up properly.
The redness and swelling around your wound may also bring about some heat.
You would feel the heat without having to touch it with your fingers, but if you brought your hand near the cut, you would feel it that way, too.
Our bodies often use heat to fight off bacteria and viruses. This is what happens when we get a fever and when we get heat around our wounds.
If the pain from the wound continues or increases, it may be due to the fact that it’s not healing properly because of infection.
These symptoms aren’t the only ones that show infection, they are just the most common ones associated with the beginning of an infection. Things can escalate to where you feel malaise, fever, or lose movement in the affected area.
Seek Professional Help
If you think you have an infected wound after reading this, contact us or come into our facility today.
If you don’t, you now know the signs of it so you can keep an eye out before things get worse.
Keep reading our blog for more health information.