A cut may look minor to us, but it can develop into an infection down the road. Here are some ways that you can identify if an infection is settling into a cut and what to do about it.
A cut may not always need a bandage. However, when a cut is left open and it is too deep, an infection has the opportunity to enter. This can lead to other systemic problems.
A cut can be a minor scrape as well. But, if not cleaned properly, it too can become infected and turn into a more serious issue. But, how will you know if you have an infected cut? Here are some symptoms to watch out for after a minor injury.
Symptoms of an Infected Cut
* Redness – This signals that something is going on at the site of the injury. When white blood cells are called to the scene, this results in an increased redness at the area.
* Warm to the touch – Again, the influx of white blood cells will result not only in redness but warmth when you touch the cut.
* Swelling – Fluid can accumulate in the area of the injury when white blood cells try to fight the infection that is beginning there. The bacteria also participate in the fluid build-up. This can lead to tightness and pain.
* Discharge – The body tries to remove foreign invaders as quickly as possible. This can show up as discharge or pus. It can be yellowish, cloudy and even may smell bad. There is a little serous fluid that discharges from a wound as it heals, but it doesn’t smell.
* Fever – If the infection has gone on for enough time, you may develop a fever as the white blood cell count continues to rise.
Treatment of an Infected Cut
An infection can lead to bad things if not dealt with. For one, it can spread from the initial cut through the tissue. Infection in the blood is known as septicemia and can even result in hospitalization and worse.
If you notice that a cut you thought was healing is developing an infection, here are some tips to treat it.
* See a doctor – Even if you treated your initial cut at home, once an infection sets in you need more specialized medical care. The doctor will take a sample of the pus for testing.
* Antibiotics – If the cut is not deep, the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
* Incision and Drainage – If a cut heals and gets infected, the doctor may need to open it and clean out as much of the infection as possible. IV antibiotics may be needed for bad infections.
An infection can be serious, even if from a small cut. If you notice signs of infection, see a doctor for further treatment.