How to tell if you have an infected wound or not is a question many people ask after injuring themselves. How can I tell if my wound is infected? There are several signs and symptoms to look for and all wounds are different. A wound can be caused by a cut , burn, scrape or even an insect bite, like from a spider or mosquito. Most people are not sure when is a good time to visit a doctor or even an emergency room. Here are some ways to tell if you have an infected wound.
Look for swelling. Any infection can swell slightly once an injury occurs but if an infection is present the infected area and swelling will become worse over time and will not appear to get any better. Swelling can include the area around the infection as well as any limbs attached. For example if bitten by a spider on the ankle; the entire ankle can become swollen. If the swelling gets worse and persists after a few days then a visit to the doctor is a must to see if antibiotics are needed to clear up the infection.
A wound will almost always have slight redness around the infected area at first. Damage to the skin and area surrounding can become inflamed to start. However, if the area of infection is red and the appearance is getting worse then it's time to see your doctor. The area of redness can also include a blood trail down a limb which can be harmful and lead to clots and problems and require hospitalization if left untreated.
Soreness is a sign. Most wounds hurt at the beginning, but they often improve over time as the wound heals. A wound that doesn't improve can hurt badly and soreness or stiffness can cause a further harmful reaction. If the wound does not get better, but becomes worse over time, it may require a visit to the doctor. A wound without an infection usually heals within one to two days. More than that should be looked at to make sure the infection doesn't spread.
"Smell yourself" seems like a funny statement, but can be a key indicator of infection. A cut or abrasion, burn or scrape that becomes infected can often cause puss, a yellowish or whitish discharge and can leave a strong odor that trails from the wound. This is another way to tell if you have infection or not as your body tries to heal.
Hydrogen Peroxide can be your friend in telling you if you have an infection or not. Pour a small amount of peroxide on your wound and if the wound bubbles and stings a bit and a whitish substance shows over top of the wound then you most likely have an infection. Peroxide can be used to help heal a wound.
No matter what just monitor your wound and keep an eye out for these key factors letting you know if you have infection or not. Listen to yourself as your body will talk to you letting you know something is wrong. Keep the wound clean, free of dirt and other particles that could help spread an infection around the wound. Use a band-aid if you feel covering the wound is necessary, peroxide to clean the wound and polysporin an over the counter medication useful for cuts, scrapes, bites and other smaller abrasions to help it heal and lead you back to the road of recovery.