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10 Telltale Signs of an Infected Wound

Is it an infected wound or just irritated?

There’s nothing more unsettling than pulling off a bandage and finding a red-looking wound staring back at you. But how do you know for sure if your wound is infected or just irritated? Luckily the body gives us pretty clear signs of when it is time to seek professional wound treatment.

Here’s a quick list of some telltale signs of wound infection.
  • Foul odor from the wound
  • Generalized chills or fever
  • Redness or excessive swelling in the wound area. An infected wound will have a dead giveway: redness and tenderness—usually right along the outside.
  • Throbbing pain or tenderness in the wound area. Healthy wounds that are on the mend will start to improve and feel better. So if your pain starts to suddenly get even worse, you may have an infected wound on your hands.
  • Tender lumps or swelling in your armpit, groin or neck. An infected wound can affect your whole body, so you may find that the lymph nodes closest your possible infection are swelling. For example, if your elbow scrape is infected then your armpit has your closest lymph node.
  • Red streaks in the skin around the wound or progressing away from the wound.
  • Pus or watery discharge collected beneath the skin or draining from the wound. While fluids from a wound are not uncommon, healthy wounds will seep clear. So if you see a change in your fluid color, it may be time for some professional wound treatment.
When inspecting the area, make sure you have a well-light space to work in and clean hands. If you suspect the wound is indeed infected, call your doctor for evaluation and immediate wound care.

Finding treatment for infected wounds
When you’re looking for treatment for infected wounds, try to find a place that specializes in wound care. In Connecticut, ECHN is proud to offer our Center for Wound Healing. It is fully equipped and staffed to address all your woundcare needs, with most treatments covered by Medicare/Medicaid, HMOs and other private insurance plans. We are expert at caring for people whose open sores have resisted traditional treatment with a success rate of 89% healed in 16 weeks.

For more information, call 860.533.2903, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Wound Healing Center is located at Manchester Memorial Hospital.

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