What you need to know
about Wound Infections
Definition - A break in the skin that shows signs of infection. This includes sutured wounds, puncture wounds and scrapes. Most wound infections occur 24 to 72 hours after the initial break in the skin.
Signs and Symptoms of a Wound Infection:
- Pus or cloudy fluid draining from the wound
- Pimple or yellow crust formed on the wound
- Scab has increased in size
- Increasing redness around
- Red streak is spreading from the
wound toward the heart
- Wound has become
- Pain and swelling increasing after
48 hours since the wound occurred
- Wound has developed blisters or
darkened colored tissue
- Lymph node close to wound
becomes large and tender
- Onset of widespread bright red
- Onset of fever
- Wound hasn’t healed within 10
(ten) days after the injury
When to Call your Doctor:
Call your doctor now (night or day) if:
- Excessive bleeding or
- You feel weak or very sick
- Bright red, sunburn-like rash on your body
- Fever occurs
- Red streak runs from the wound
- Increasing redness around the wound
- Severe pain in the wound
- Face wound with sign of infection
- Finger wound, where finger has sausage shaped swelling and pain
Call your doctor within 24 hours if:
- You think you need to be seen
- Pus/bloody or cloudy drainage from the wound
- Pimple where a stitch/suture comes through the skin
- Wound becomes more tender after the 2nd day
- Sutures come out early
- Suture removal is overdue
- Pain and swelling normally
peak on day 2.
- Any redness should go away
by day 3 or 4.
- Complete healing should occur
by day 10.
- Don’t miss your appointment for removing stitches. Stitches removed late can leave unnecessary skin marks and
occasional scarring. It also makes
suture removal more difficult.
• If the sutures come out early, reinforce
the wound with butterfly band-aids
or dry dressing until the office visit.
- After removal of the sutures, protect
the wound from injury during the
- Allow the scab to fall off naturally. • Do not try to remove it.
- Notify your doctor for appropriate reatment. If the wound incision is open and/or draining, seek emergency care.
Note: This information is not intended to be a substitute for your doctor’s advice and instructions. It is provided for educational purposes only.