Chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers, burns, and non-healing surgical wounds, require complex treatment that is different from acute wounds. Infections are a serious complication associated with chronic wounds. It’s critical to prevent infection in your wound because it further complicates the treatment process. Here is some information on the symptoms of infection and how to take care of your injury when you are home.
How Do Infections Occur?
Wound infections occur when microbes enter and invade a wound.
Symptoms of Infection
Some general signs of infection to look for include:
- The wound site becomes hot
You should contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Foul smell
- Increased fluid and pus drainage
- Increased swelling
- Lymph nodes throughout the body become swollen
- Red streaks running away from the wound
- Nausea or vomiting
Treating Your Wound at Home
There are several essential steps to ensure safe and sanitary wound care.
Always Wash Your Hands
Always wash your hands before and after you change your wound dressings. It’s one of the most critical steps to preventing infection. Wash them using lukewarm water and soap for 30 seconds or more. Antibacterial soap is the best, but any soap works. If anyone helps take care of your wound, they must follow the same protocol. It’s vital to stay clean when treating a chronic wound. Wash them after you use the restroom, cook, get dirty, etc.
Cleaning the Wound
To clean your wound start with a wet gauze and soap. Gently wipe the wound from the middle to the outside, moving any debris away from the center of the wound. Make sure that it has no dirt or debris and rinse it with water. Then, gently blot it dry with a fresh disposable paper towel.
For chronic wound treatment, follow your doctor’s orders for dressing the wound. It’s important to keep an adequate moisture control to promote healing. Moisture is necessary for cells to grow and live. Some treatments include hydrogels, alginates, and foam dressings. After cleaning the wound, cover it with some type of sterile dressing and/or whatever treatment your doctor prescribed. Clean it weekly and watch for symptoms of infection.
Take Antibiotics or Any Other Medicine Prescribed
Your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic to treat infection. Take all of your medicine as prescribed, and remember it’s crucial that you finish it. Finishing all of the prescription is vital to remaining free of infection and preventing antibiotic resistance.
Also, take any other medication that your doctor may prescribe. If you have problems remembering your medication you can set a reminder in your phone or organize your medicine by time and day. There are pill organizers available for purchase at most pharmacies and discount stores.
Follow these tips, and you’ll lessen the chance of getting an infection in your wound. Remember to watch for symptoms of infection and call your doctor for an evaluation if you think you may have one. Don’t wait too long because infections can make you extremely ill and even lead to death if not treated in time.
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