How to Tell if a Wound Is Infected

Prevention is better than cure. Know the signs before it's too late. Read on to learn how to tell if a wound is infected here.

Have you had injuries in an accident? Many accident victims worry about broken bones, bruises, and cuts. However, they should worry about infections too.

It’s true that broken bones, bruised skin, and cut flesh can lead to long-term physical disabilities, but if you don’t get the proper medical attention for an injury, an infection can lead to death.

Read on to learn how to tell if a wound is infected so you can make sure you’re taken care of.

Increased or Severe Pain

If a wound is infected, it will usually be painful. The pain will likely be worse than the initial pain from the injury. 

There are many factors that can contribute to increased or severe pain in a wound. One of the most common is infection. When a wound becomes infected, it can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed, which can lead to increased pain.

Infection can also cause the body to produce more pain-causing chemicals, which can make the pain even more severe. In some cases, the infection can also cause nerve damage, which can result in even more pain. If you are experiencing increased pain in a wound, it is important to see a healthcare provider to treat the infection.

Your healthcare provider can prescribe medication to help manage this pain. If the pain is severe, you may also require hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue.

Dead Tissue

One of the first signs that dead tissue is present in a wound is the discoloration of the skin around the wound. The skin may turn a dull gray or black color, and it may feel cold and wet to the touch.

Another sign of dead tissue is a foul smell coming from the wound. The smell is usually a result of bacteria growing in the dead tissue. Dead tissue may also be hard and dry to the touch.

If you think you have dead tissue in a wound, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Dead tissue caused by wound infection can lead to serious health complications, including sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when an infection spreads throughout the body. Symptoms of sepsis include high body temperature, chills, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and low blood pressure. If not treated quickly, sepsis can lead to organ failure and death.


If a wound becomes infected, it can cause a fever. The infection can cause the body to produce more white blood cells to fight the infection. This can lead to a decrease in the number of red blood cells, which can make a person feel tired and weak.

If you have a fever, it’s important to drink lots of fluids and rest. You may also need to take medication to help lower your temperature.

If your fever doesn’t go down after a few days, or if it gets worse, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. If the fever goes along with other symptoms such as chills, sweats, or shaking, this is an indication that the infection is serious and needs to be treated immediately.

Redness and Swelling

During the first few days after an injury, it’s normal for the area to be swollen and red. However, if the swelling and redness continue to spread after this initial period, it may be a sign of infection. If the wound is not healing or the redness and swelling are increasing, it is important to seek medical attention.

When a superficial wound becomes red and swollen, this is usually a sign of infection. The body’s immune response to the infection causes redness and swelling.

Constricted Movement

One of the causes of constricted movement is wound infection. When a wound becomes infected, it can cause the muscles and tissues around the wound to become constricted. This can make it difficult to move the affected area. Infected wounds can also lead to swelling and pain. If you have an infected wound, it is important to seek medical treatment.

Infection is one of the most common causes of constricted movement. When a wound becomes infected, it can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed and fill with pus. This can lead to the formation of a scar, which can limit the range of motion of the affected joint or body part.

Infection can also cause the muscles and tendons to become tight, making it difficult to move the affected limb. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the bloodstream and cause sepsis, which can be fatal.

The infection can also spread to the surrounding tissues, causing further damage and making it difficult to move. Early diagnosis and wound infection treatment is essential to prevent these complications and improve the quality of life.

Excess Pus in the Wound

Pus is a yellowish-white, viscous fluid composed of dead white blood cells, living and dead bacteria, and fluid from tissue damaged by infection or trauma. In small amounts, pus is normal and helps fight infection. However, too much pus can indicate an infection that has not been completely eradicated or a wound that has become infected.

When pus forms in a wound, it can make the wound larger and increase the chance of the infection spreading. The best way to treat excess pus is to clean the wound and apply an antiseptic. If the wound is deep, you may need to see a doctor get it drained.

Keeping the wound clean and dry will help to prevent further infection. If you have a wound filled with pus, it is important to see a doctor to treat the infection.

Seek Medical Attention if Your Wound is Infected

If you have any reason to suspect your wound is infected, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated, an infection can lead to serious complications.

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