Getting cuts and bruises are a part of life. You fall down and then get back up again, recovering from the scratches and wounds. But it’s not always that easy. Despite your body being quick to heal, the healing process can sometimes take longer. This can be due to several external factors, mainly the invasion of germs and bacteria, causing this delay. So, if you have a deep cut or wound that just won’t heal, it’s best to check if it’s infected or not.
How To Know If A Cut Is Infected?
Typically it takes a few days or a week at most for a wound to heal. Your immune system works to repair all damages, making sure there’s no permanent harm. But if your body takes forever to heal a tiny cut, it might be a cause for concern.
For instance, a wound that hasn’t healed for more than 30 days is definitely concerning. However, if a minor cut also refuses to heal, it could be infected.
Here are some of the major symptoms that alert you if your cut is infected.
Wound Feels Warm
Usually, a wound feeling warm isn’t as worrisome since it’s a sign that your white blood cells are working to heal the cut. However, it could be troubling if it remains warm for over five days.
It’s Red and Tender
Redness signifies that blood is being carried over to the affected area. But redness, paired with tenderness and a sore injury site, is a cause for concern.
Swelling Won’t Go Down
Swelling is also a common healing process. But if a cut remains swollen and turns painful at the slightest touch, it’s a sign that the wound is not healing as it’s supposed to.
Discharge or Pus
Discharge isn’t typically a common characteristic of a cut. When it’s paired with blood at the initial moments of the wound, that’s okay. Nevertheless, if your cut keeps leaking pus and starts to change colors, it could very well be infected.
Sharp Stabs of Pain
This goes without saying, but pain is a given when you sustain any injury. However, if the pain doesn’t go away and increases after taking pain relief medications, it may need to be carefully inspected.
The biggest sign of an infected cut is high temperature. That is to say, once your cut is infected, the infection can travel to other parts of your body through the bloodstream. This can cause severe discomfort and pain.
When To Worry About An Infected Cut?
If it’s been 30 days or more than two weeks, yet your wound is still not getting better, it might require a professional evaluation. For instance, in most cases, a cut gets sabbed over pretty quickly. A scab generally helps to shut off your cut from external stimuli like germs and bacteria. It also speeds up the process of your skin cells, causing them to heal and repair faster.
However, it might be infected if the scab is extremely tender or sore, with a pocket of pus surrounding it. Moreover, if the discharge makes you feel feverish or heightens the level of pain of the cut, seek immediate medical help.
What’s The Takeaway?
A cut that feels warm, has a discharge, and seems too red could be a sign it is infected. That is how you know you need urgent medical help. Do not disregard an infected wound, as it could potentially turn deadly.
In case of a severely infected cut or wound, contact Sharaf Diwan, MD, at (832) 604-0005. For an in-office appointment, head over to 18220 TX-249 #230, Houston, TX 77070, at the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.