Our bodies are marvelous. They can fight invasions, mend bones, and regenerate new skin. Did you know that just minutes after sustaining an injury your body starts to heal itself?
However, sometimes the healing process doesn’t go so smoothly. Germs and bacteria can find a way in and cause infection. Does it feel like your wound is taking forever to heal – even just a simple cut? If it has been more than 30 days, then there is probably something amiss.
Remember, all wounds, even the simple ones, can turn into a chronic wound over time. Make sure you keep your eye on your injury throughout the healing process. So, how do you tell if a wound is healing or infected? Below we take a look at various signs to look out for.
Signs of Infection
If you suspect your wound is infected, here are some symptoms to monitor:
Often, right at the beginning of the healing process, your wound feels warm. This is because the white blood cells are fighting germs or bacteria. But, if the injury is feeling warm after the first five days, it may mean your body is fighting to keep bacteria and infection away.
Again, right after you’ve sustained your injury, the area may be swollen, sore, and red in color. This is normal as blood is being sent to the area to supply oxygen and other nutrients for healing. But if the wound is still red and swollen after five days, it’s a sign that your body is not healing correctly.
After the initial discharge of a bit of pus and blood, your wound should be clear. If the discharge continues through the wound healing process and begins to smell bad or have discoloration, it’s probably a sign of infection.
Pain is obviously normal after being injured. If you have a deep wound, the pain will most certainly be more prevalent. But if you feel long-lasting pain that is also a sign of infection, especially if it is not to scale with the size of the injury you’ve sustained. Your pain should decrease with pain medication and not get worse.
Once an infection has taken place, it will enter your bloodstream and spread through your body, causing fever and general discomfort.
Signs of Healing
Below we share some common wound healing factors that indicate your would is well on its way to recovery:
Your general cuts and puncture wounds go through three stages of healing: bleeding, clotting, and scabbing. If you find your wound is still bleeding after a significant period and no scab is forming, you may need to seek further care.
Swelling is a sign that your immune system is repairing your wound. The blood vessels widen to ease blood flow and send oxygen, vitamins, and minerals to your injury. This stage shouldn’t last longer than five days.
After the swelling has stopped, you’ll notice new tissue forming over the wound – this usually lasts a couple of weeks.
This is proof that healing has occurred. The initial scab will fall away, and you will be left with a scar, that will be with you for many years – if your injury was severe – or just slowly fade away.
If You Think Your Wound Might Be Infected or Is Not Healing
If you are struggling with a wound or find your body’s wound-healing capabilities are compromised, R3 Wound Care and Hyperbarics can help. We work to assess each patient and then recommend the right treatment plan for healing open wounds. Each of our four clinic locations has state of the art equipment, skilled wound care specialists, and a comfortable atmosphere. At R3 Wound Care & Hyperbarics, our primary function is wound care treatment, and we are independent of any hospital. You don’t even need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment or receive treatment.