Puncture wounds are injuries that are caused by pointy objects penetrating the skin, deep enough to draw blood. While punctures cause only lesser damage to the skin than cuts, puncture wounds are more vulnerable to Bacteria and infection because it is usually deep. Furthermore, infected puncture wounds also pose more danger to the body because of the same reason.
Puncture wounds have been a big problem since the primitive ages of humans when weapons such as spears and arrows were used. Two of the most common complications with the injury is the “rot,” the early term for gangrene or infection, and removing the pointy object that caused the injury, which may still be lodged into the skin. Since it was in these early times when the field of medicine was in its infancy, the treatments are usually ineffective and could result in the death of the patient. The standard treatment for rot was amputation, and usually, the chances of survival for the patient in this process were not favorable.
Another common problem usually encountered in puncture wounds is the disease called tetanus. It is a sickness caused by certain germs found in dirt. Getting injured by unclean objects such as rusty nails, dirty stones, and wooden splinters is likely to cause tetanus. When the patient starts to experience spasms and random involuntary muscle contractions, that is usually the first signs of the disease. The reason why tetanus is so feared is because the muscle contractions can be very strong, enough to snap bones. More of the lethal effects of tetanus include shock and a broken neck.
Puncture wounds are easy to treat and require only basic knowledge of first aid. But not the case is that simple. There are three aspects that complicate the treatment of puncture wounds:
Infection – sure to puncture wounds being usually deep, they are more vulnerable to Bacteria and infection. Infection is avoided by sterilizing the wound and making sure it is dressed.
The possibility of Tetanus – the chances of having tetanus depends on the object that caused the injury. Tetanus may rarely be a problem for vaccinated individuals, but just to be safe, it is better to follow up with a doctor.
Objects Impaled Into The Flesh – the worst cases of puncture injuries is having the object[that caused the injury] remain lodged in the body. Whether it is a minor splinter or a steel nail lodged into the hand, the object should not remain in the body for too long as it keeps the wound open. Objects like glass or metal splinter and rusty nails should be removed immediately as these are more likely to cause infection and tetanus.
A puncture wound is treated almost the same way as a cut wound and scrape wound. So is the case for an infected puncture wound. Most people prefer to go to a doctor to get infected wounds treated. But there are also treatments that can be done at home, using either generic first aid materials or household supplies. This article will introduce to you the ways to treat an infected puncture wound at home. Note, however, that if an object is still lodged in the body, call an ambulance immediately, and don’t let the lodged object linger for any longer.
Treating Infected Puncture Wounds – First aid
Step 1. Wash your hands. Always do this before treating any wound to help prevent infection. Simply our running water over your hands, rub then with soap, then rinse.
Step 2. Check for blood. Even though the wound had already been there for days, light bleeding may still occur, since puncture wounds are usually deep. Try feeling the scabs with a cotton swab. If it feels tender, then blood and pus may have already accumulated under the scabs.
Step 3. Clean the wound. This must be done even when the wound is already infected. First, our running water over the wound. Make sure blood and pus are washed away from the area of injury. Next, apply sterilizers such as iodine into the wound using cotton swabs.
Step 4. Bandage the wound. Simply wrap the wound with a bandage or cover it with a medical gauze.
Step 5. Observe the signs of infection. If the patient is infected through the wound, he should be experiencing fever and dizziness. The wound is likely to emit a foul odor, as well as pus and blood. It is also likely to swell. However, if the skin around the wound starts to turn black, it means gangrene (skin cell death) has already begun. Be aware also of other symptoms such as fainting, frequent loss of consciousness, and rashes, as these could be signs of something more serious. Professional care should be sought for in these cases.
Step 6. Combat the infection. Keep the wound clean at all times, change the dressings regularly, and avoid direct exposure to dust and outdoor wind. Keeping the wound safe is the number one priority in fighting against infection. You can then move on to fighting its symptoms, starting with the fever. You may take medicines such as ibuprofen to lower the body temperature and help ease the pain. For quick cure against bacteria, contact your doctor or consult a pharmacist for suitable antibiotic medicines. These pills are your best weapons against bacteria and infection. Then lastly, all that is left to do is rest, and let your body dedicate its energy into healing itself.
The Natural Remedies For Infection
Cranberry Juice – Cranberry is a natural antibiotic. A glass of cranberry juice every meal time can help your body fight against infection. It is also good to hydrate yourself with this liquid because of its nutrients. Remember, always try to pick the berries that are unsweetened and unprocessed.
Aloe Vera – Ingesting aloe vera juice can give your body the nutrients it needs to fight bacteria. Aloe Vera oil is also good for treating bacterial infections on the skin. Simply apply the oil to your wound and dress it. Keep it on for at least 10 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.
Honey – This food sweetener is a very good substitute for generic wound sterilizer. It has anti-bacterial properties that prove to be lethal to germs. Simply apply it with a cotton swab or cotton ball as you would a sterilizer. Remember, like all natural remedies, it is always best to use unprocessed ones. As in the case of honey, only the raw ones should be used. Commercial honey is likely to contain chemicals that worsen wounds.
Vinegar – another common household product with wound-healing capabilities. Applied directly like honey.