Treating wounds

How to identify and cure an infected wound

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to identify and cure an infected wound

Infected wounds occur because the skin has lost its continuity and has been exposed to contaminants. Sometimes the signs of infection are very evident as you can see changes related to temperature, colour, touch, appearance of secretions and appearance of the skin. This article will teach you how to identify and cure an infected wound.

You may also be interested in: Signs That a Wound Is Infected

Steps to follow:


After a skin incision from a contusion, cut and/or surgical site you must pay attention to the wound's progress during the healing process. Good signs of progress in an open wound:

  • pink colour
  • warm skin temperature
  • painless touch
  • no signs of inflammation
  • absence of foul smell

But there are some signs that help clarify the status of the wound, these are the ones we explain below.


When a wound is hot to the touch, there is a possible infection. The skin must always be at a temperature between 35 and 36.9ºC, with the palms of your hands or the inside of your wrist, you will be able to notice if the wound has a higher temperature.


The local temperature rise of the skin is usually accompanied by a inflammation around the edges of the wound. Remember that inflammation is manifested by the swelling and redness of skin. Know that in surgical wounds with stitches or staples mild swelling is normal during the first days s around the area of incision.

How to identify and cure an infected wound - Step 3

It is possible that if the wound becomes infected you will feel pain.

Pain during treatment with rubbing alcohol is normal. If the pain is chronic and acute, and you would describe it as a shooting pain, your wound may be infected.


To know that a wound is doing well you should always observe the wound and recognise what looks good. This can mostly be recognised by the colour, but to be more cautious we must monitor the growth of the edges. In infected wounds, a late sign is an irregular contour, and a continual growth of the wound.


The last most striking and easy to detect sign of infection that you can recognise in a wound is the appearance of a discharge. When a wound exudes secretions, i.e. if the dressing is stained, or when the wound is squeezed and a rather dense yellowish green liquid comes out, then it is most likely infected. If the discharge smells like puss, it is more proof of infection.


If you are facing a wound that has these signs it is essential that you consult a healthcare professional for guidance on what to do. On we want to give you some steps so you know how to care for an infected wound.


To cure an infected wound follow the usual steps: wash with a saline solution and neutral soap and dry with a sterile gauze. It is important that during the washing you eliminate all types of secretion and the wound is clean.


After drying an infected wound you must apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a gauze pad and tape to prevent contact with contaminants.

Examples of antibiotic ointment: Furacin, Fucidine, etc. you should employ a professional approach when choosing the ointment as each one is applied differently depending on the state of the wound.

How to identify and cure an infected wound - Step 9

If after a few days the wound has not improved, or if you develop a fever, you should seek immediate medical attention. There are times when the body is unable to fight an infection, and the infection can spread to the rest of the body. In this case, oral or intravenous antibiotics will be necessary to eliminate the infection.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to identify and cure an infected wound, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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How to identify and cure an infected wound