3M Steri-strips

The human body has a fantastic ability to heal itself by mending bone, fighting off invaders, and creating new skin. Without our knowledge or conscious involvement, our bodies begin the healing process within minutes after receiving an injury.

But sometimes, the path to injury recovery is not easy. Bacteria and germs can invade our bodies and cause infections that could potentially become dangerous to our health and wellbeing. Also, it makes even the slightest wound appear to take forever to heal. This condition can become a genuine concern if the healing process takes more than a month.

If you have had this problem before, you understand how it feels, not knowing whether your injury has an infection or not. Fortunately, some signs can let you know your wound is safely healing and infection-free, and we will share them with you shortly.

Other Non-Infection Causes for Slow Healing

Before you start assuming the worst, you should consider the other non-threatening causes of slow healing. For example, diabetes can decrease circulation and possibly cause wounds to heal slowly.  Other non-infection reasons for slow wound recovery are poor nutrition, poor circulation, excessive swelling, and repetitive pressure trauma caused by remaining in one position too long.

 In addition, undue pressure on a wound can stem from excessively tight bandages, wound dressings, and medical tape. If you suspect any of these conditions are slowing your wound healing process, contact your healthcare provider. 

Five Signs of Infection

The following are vital signs that your wound is infected. If you notice any of these indications, immediate treatment must occur. 

Redness: At the offset of your injury, it is normal to experience swelling, soreness, and redness at or around the wound site or sutures. These are indications that blood is rushing to the area to supply oxygen and nutrients as healing agents. However, a wound that is still red and swollen after five days is possibly infected and needs medical attention.

Warmth: Since it verifies that your white blood cells fight off bacteria and germs, it is okay to feel the warmth as your wound begins to heal. However, if your injury emits warmth after five days, it could mean your body is battling an infection.

Pain: Most injuries cause pain, especially from a deep wound. But prolonged pain is a warning sign of infection. With uninfected wounds, pain should gradually scale down. However, a continuing crescendo of pain is cause for concern. 

Discharge: Early in the healing process, wounds generally release a discharge of blood and pus. But, if the discharging becomes a continuing occurrence, your wound is most likely infected. Another vital clue of infection is a foul odor from the discharge. 

Fever/chills: A fever and chills are not good at any time. Concerning a recovering wound,  these symptoms can alert you that an infection has invaded your bloodstream. This breach can spread the infection throughout your body. 

Five Signs Your Wound is Healing

A lack of signs of infection doesn't necessarily mean your wound is healing correctly. However, look for these five indications as evidence of your healthy healing process.

Swelling: Swelling occurs due to your immune system repairing your wound. It indicates your injury is getting the oxygen and nutrition required to heal from expanded blood vessels. But the swelling process shouldn't continue past five days.

Scabs: Although they can look unappealing, these crusty masses stem from a three-step healing process: bleeding, clotting, and scabbing. A wound that continues to bleed needs immediate medical attention. 

Tissue Growth: Within the last few weeks of the healing process, you should see new skin tissue growing over the wound. This process usually happens after the swelling goes down.

Scarring: Once the healing process is completely over, you will notice a scar after the scab flakes off. If your injury is deep or severe, the scar may be permanent or long-lasting. Otherwise, it will fade away over a brief time.

Treating the Infection

If you have a mild infection from a small cut, it is possible to treat the wound at home. On the other hand, infections that come with sickness, foul discharge, and red streaks around the wound require immediate professional medical attention.

To treat minor infections, start the process by thoroughly washing your hands before rinsing the wound with warm water. Next, use soapy water or antimicrobial cleansers to clean the skin around the cut or scrape while making sure to get rid of any foreign objects from the injury with wound debridement tweezers. Once you rinse and dry the area, spread a thin layer of antiseptic ointment or other wound care products over the wound. 

If you think an uninfected wound is not healing correctly, consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Proper Care of Your Injury

Now that you are aware of the signs of infection and healing of your injury, you are better prepared to oversee the entire recovery process. To help prevent infection, make sure to regularly change any wound care dressings according to your health care provider's instructions.