How to treat an Infected Wound?

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Some people ignore thinking that a small wound or a cut may not harm them. A slight ignorance in caring for the small cut can lead to the development of an infected cut, which results in more problems that any one can ever imagine. Specifically, one should be cautious about deep cuts that are prone to getting infected, due to the damage caused to the inner layer of the skin. Even though, human skin has the ability to heal on its own, it is not true for all kinds of wounds. If the wound or a cut is ignored without proper treatment, even minor cuts might develop into an infection. An infection occurs when bacteria or fungus enters an open wound. The bacteria can be transferred by touch or it can be in the air. Once bacteria or fungus enter a wound and cause an infection, the bacteria or fungi grow and can cause a serious infection that could go into the bloodstream and can even cause death. Treating an infected wound needs several interdisciplinary approaches and it is a slow process for the wound to heal totally.


Which are the types of wound to get infected?

Wounds can be:

  •  punctures (holes),
  •  lacerations (tears),
  •  Incisions (cuts) or burns.
  •  Deep ulcers, that are open sores,
  •  Large burns, or bite wounds

These are the most possible wounds to get infected. Wound infection can also take place in small wounds that are not properly treated.


How to find whether a wound is infected?

There are quite a few signs and symptoms once can look for when a wound is infected:

  •  Red streaks can be noticed on the skin surrounding the cut and the skin which may also be tender to touch.
  •  Fever is the primary defense method to fight against foreign objects in human body
  •  Increased swelling of the wound which bleeds easily and may have pus that seeps out from the wound.
  •  Generally, the swollen area appears red, feel painful, and feel warm while touching.
  •  Fast heart beat.
  •  One may feel the foul smell coming from the wound.
  •  Other symptoms of an infected cut are itchiness around the wound, boil or blister around the cut or wound, etc.


How to treat a wound?

  • Prior to treat the infected wound, wash the hands. It is essential to clean under the fingernails and if possible, use antiseptic soap.
  •  The first step in the care of cuts and scrapes is to cease the bleeding. Hold the pressure incessantly for just about 10-20 minutes. If this fails to stop the bleeding or if bleeding is fast, then one should look for a medical help.
  •  The area of skin around the wound is sanitized with alcohol or an antibacterial solution as sanitizing the areas of skin near the wound site will stop unintentional contagion of the wound by any injurious bacteria that are present on the skin. Also, remove any foreign material, such as dirt or bits of grass, that might be in the wound and which can lead to infection.
  •  Any foreign matter and pus from the wound is cautiously removed with a sanitizer. The wound should not be scrubbed. Scrubbing may open blood vessels, letting bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
  •  Washing the wound simply with water is adequate to remove the debris. Any dead tissue present and visible within the wound is also removed.
  •  Apply antibiotic ointment, or an antiseptic solution, on germ-free gauze and apply to the wound.
  •  Lock the gauze to the wound and always keep the bandage dirt free. The wound can be checked while changing the bandages.
  •  As infections can get serious rapidly, even a minute wound must be treated properly in case of infection. In case of serious infection of the wound, professional medical attention is essential.


What are the factors that affect the healing of a wound?

  •  Poor immune system: The major factor that battles against the infection is the immune system. This immune system may perhaps be destabilized by radiation, poor nutrition, and specific medicines, for example, anti-cancer medicines or steroids.
  •  Surgery: Cuts during surgery can also get infected. This is also known as “surgical site infection (SSI)”.
  •  Constant pressure: Constant pressure on wounds may amplify the danger of having wound infection, and setback healing.
  •  Disease: Diseases for instance, diabetes, cancer, or liver, kidney or lung related disease delay healing.
  •  Foreign objects: Deceased tissue and foreign materials, like glass or metal, trapped in the wound may affect the healing of the wound.
  •  Low oxygen: Low oxygen supply due to certain blood, heart, and lung diseases may also play a role in the healing of the wound.
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