Any wound can become infected, so it is necessary to apply proper care by practicing good hygiene. A good rule of thumb when suffering a wound injury (besides cleansing the wound site) is to apply an antibiotic ointment for at least the first few days after injury to help protect it from infection. If a wound does get infected, it will also be able to affect surrounding skin, causing complications. Even worse, an infection can spread into the bloodstream and cause a fatal condition known as sepsis. Below are some tips on how to take care of a wound caused by a cut, tear, bruise or burn:
– Observe the wound carefully, this way you will know the injury severity level.
– Wash the wound with soap and warm water. If the water does not remove all the dirt inside, use small tweezers to pick up debris.
– Avoid infection by using a topical antibiotic cream for at least two days.
– Cover the wound with a bandage, this way you can keep it clean and without risk of infection.
– Continue observing the wound site for any changes that might catch your attention.
To determine that your wound is healthy and has not been infected, you should notice the following:
– The wound’s color will be pink and will become clear with time.
– Normal body temperature
– Your wound will be painless to the touch.
If you are not yet sure of having an infected wound, look out for the below red flags:
– General fever
– A continuous reddish coloration of the area, inflammation and sensitivity
– Persistent pain, even with gentle contact
– Secretion of pus
– Absence of scarring or healing
– Bad smell and appearance
If you notice the above symptoms (especially the presence of pus and a bad smell) it is most likely an infection you are dealing with. Treating it quickly and carefully before it gets worse is the way to go. Follow these steps:
Disinfect the Wound
This is the first thing you must do. Wash the wound with saline and soap, these two products will disinfect the wound and regulate the pH of the area. Dry with a sterile gauze to avoid any bacteria that might exist on towels or napkins. When doing this, you must make sure to remove all the secretion or dirt that is in the wound and leave it completely clean.
After drying the infected wound, look for an antibiotic ointment and apply it on the affected area. It’s recommended to do it between 2 or 3 times a day. This process should be done for at least a week to make sure you completely eliminate the infection and accelerate the healing process.
Keep the Wound Under Supervision
It is vital to keep the wound under supervision to monitor its evolution. In case you don’t observe any improvement, it is necessary to go to your physician or a specialist where they will determine the degree of infection and prescribe the appropriate medications and care for their proper healing.