Wound infection can occur if a cut was not properly cleaned or treated. It is important to note that a wound is any break to the skin. The traumatic types of wounds can occur from assault, falls, accidents or bites which includes lacerations, grazes and cuts.
Both traumatic and surgical wounds can be closed using stitches, adhesive tape or glue to promote healing. Some wounds do not require closure due to its small size or the edges close together.
Why do I end up with wound infection?
Generally, several microorganisms thrive harmlessly on the skin. They do not cause any issues but if the skin is broken, they can spread into more sensitive tissues beneath and start an infection.
This causes the tissues to become swollen and sore and less likely to heal. Open wounds are likely than closed wounds to become infected. The reason for this is the break in the skin functions as a path for the germs to travel from outside to the inside. Essentially, the skin serves as a barrier.
Certain factors are likely to cause wound infection which includes:
- Being diagnosed with diabetes type 1 or 2
- If an object responsible for the wound was contaminated
- Wound due to a human or animal bite
- There is a foreign body in the wound such as pieces of glass or wood splinters
- Large or deep wounds
- Wounds with jagged edges
- Proper precautions were not observed during an operation
- Older individuals due to poor healing of the skin
- Being overweight
- Weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS or under steroids or chemotherapy
Is my wound infected?
There are indications of wound infection that you should watch out for such as:
- The wound becomes painful instead of gradually improving
- Increased swelling
- The skin around the wound appears red and feels warm
- Drainage of foul-smelling pus
In case the infection rapidly spreads, the redness will spread to other parts of the skin. The individual feels generally sick along with fever and aches and pains.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on wound infection is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage wounds including those that are infected, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.