When treating a wound at home, it’s vital to be careful every step of the way. Keeping bacteria and debris away from the opening is essential to avoiding major complications. With the right home wound care, you can protect the wound and allow it to heal in full without a problem. Here, we’ll discuss risk factors for wound infections, proper home wound care, and the benefits of seeing a doctor.
Risk Factors for Wound Infection
There are many reasons a wound may become infected. A few risk factors that raise the chances of a wound becoming infected include:
- Health conditions – Issues like diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease can make it harder for the wound to fight off infection as it heals.
- Age – Older individuals may find themselves with more infected wounds due to their skin’s lessening ability to heal quickly and fully.
- Malnutrition – When a person doesn’t have proper nutrition, they could have a weaker immune system and fewer white blood cells to fight off infection.
- Wound depth – A deep wound can be harder to clean and keep away from bacteria, and infection can cause both skin and tissue problems.
No matter the situation, all wounds should be treated carefully to limit the chance of an infection. Even the healthiest individuals can end us with an infected wound.
Notice the Signs of Infection
It’s important to notice the signs of wound infection as soon as it occurs so you can perform the proper wound care. You may be experiencing an infected wound if any of the following apply:
- Swelling – The area around the wound may puff up and feel tender.
- Fever or chills – Wound infections can affect the immune system and lead to a fever or another illness.
- Drainage – Most wounds will release liquid as they heal, but excessive amounts of puss or drainage are a sign of problems.
- Pain – Some wounds will hurt a bit as they heal, but serious pain for several days could be a warning sign of major issues.
- Heat – Wounds can feel warm or even hot due to the immune system working overtime to fight off an infection.
If you can spot the signs of a wound infection early, seek out a doctor’s help while also performing wound infection care at home.
Initial Treatment for a Wound Infection
Wound care must be handled properly to keep yourself or your patient as safe as possible from infection. The quicker the wound is cared for, the less chance there is of an infection breaking out. Consider the following steps to take care of a wound at home, whether infected or not:
Clean Your Hands and the Wound
Carefully wash out the wound with light amounts of soap and clean water. This will help the wound to stop bleeding and begin the healing process. Cleaning away any dirt or debris can help avoid infection. Be sure to dry the wound by softly patting it dry.
Bandage Up the Wound
Once the wound is dry and clean, apply antibiotic ointment to the opening. This medicine will help kill any bacteria near the opening and assist the skin in sealing up. Apply a gauze bandage to the surface and wrap a bandage around it to hold the gauze comfortably tight to the skin. Secure the bandage in place with a durable, waterproof, skin-sensitive tape like Hy-Tape. It’s designed to hold tight against the skin while also offering flexibility. Hy-Tape is also waterproof, helping keep drainage from leaking out or water from entering.
Replace Bandages Daily
Change the bandage over a wound at least once per day. This allows the wound to avoid problems as it heals, as well as provides you an opportunity to monitor the healing process. Gently remove the old bandage and softly wash the skin clean. Dry the skin by patting it with a dry towel before applying more antibiotic ointment. Finally, place a fresh, sanitary gauze bandage on the wound, wrap it with a bandage, and secure it in place with Hy-Tape. It’s made with zinc oxide which helps protect the skin, making it easier to peel off and replace when needed.
When to Go to a Doctor
Infected wounds may simply need proper cleaning and bandaging to clear up, but sometimes professional help is needed. If your wound doesn’t look or feel right after a week or longer, it may be time to call a doctor. They may prescribe an antibiotic or a special topical cream for the wound. A professional will be able to observe your wound and provide the best care possible.
Whether you have a small cut or a serious wound, secure your wound bandages with Hy-Tape. Hy-Tape is designed to stick tightly to the skin but also peel away gently when it’s time for a dressing change. The tape is waterproof and helps protect a wound from foreign debris and liquid.
For self-wound care or patient-wound care, look to Hy-Tape to secure the bandage. Speak with us today to learn more about how Hy-Tape can help protect a wound from infection.