There are couple of things which inhibit wound healing process. One of the most common inhibitors is wound infection. Generally, wound infection is caused by bacterial infestation in healing wound site. The most common bacteria is the one residing in our skin—the Staphylococcus bacteria, referred as the Staph. Wound infection is specifically harmful when occurring in a diabetic wound. Untreated infection can even develop into not-healing wound or ulcers, which in diabetic patients, may be life-threatening.
How do we know a wound is infected?
There are some common signs and symptoms of wound infection. Manage to tell these signs initially will enable us to perform immediate proper treatments to the infection site, reducing the risk of further infestation and worsened site injuries. Infected wound generally show these signs:
- Inflammation and redness which get more severe along the healing stages.
- Warm wound site and its surrounding skin.
- Infected wounds often excrete abnormal drainage which resemble pus and is yellow and green in color. In many cases, this drainage is mixed with blood.
- Patients with infected wounds often undergo the feeling of extreme tiredness and lack of energy. Day by day, this tiredness grows and may decrease the patient’s sleeping quality and time.
- A severely infected wound also causes lack of appetite, which prevents the patients from consuming healthy diet, which is in fact, required by the body for healing the wound.
Wound infection and pain
Pain which comes with any kinds of wound is not uncommon. Pain occurs in most every stage of wound healing, but should deteriorate along the time. Different types of wound might trigger various kinds of pain, such as:
- Background pain—the pain felt on or around the wound site, which won’t easily go. This kind of pain is still felt even during rests.
- Incidental pain—the kind of pain which occurs when certain activities are done. This kind of pain might occur when you sneeze, cough, walk, sit, or even change positions while sitting or sleeping.
- Procedural pain—the pain occurring during some wound care procedures, such as staple removal or wound dressing change.
- Operative pain—the type of pain that comes from wound intervention. This might be felt during operative procedures, such as wound debridement.
Despite the type and degree of severity, pain occurring during wound healing should gradually subside over time. Various kinds of wound treatments and medications should be able to diminish the wound pain eventually. You should be alert, therefore, if this pain does not decrease over time and instead, tend to increase. This might be an early sign of infection, which if not treated, might be harmful for your entire health.
- Suddenly increased pain should be watched, as this might be a sign of infection.
- Some infected wound causes pain which is accompanied by swelling and redness which do not go down over time.
- If you are diabetic, you might not be able to experience pain sensation which comes with infection. Hence, it is important to observe some other possible signs of infection before it is too late. Wounds in feet in diabetic patients may develop into foot ulcers, which if infected can be life-threatening.
- When experiencing increasing after some days of wound healing period, taking pain killing medications is not recommended. This might make the wound subside, causing the infection to be hidden, which is not a good thing. As soon as you experience elevating pain coming during wound healing, see the doctor immediately.
- To alleviate the pain coming with the wound site, try to elevate it above the heart. This will increase blood supply onto the wound site which can help reducing the caused pain. However, if it does not work, this might be an early sign of infection which needs further attention. Be especially alert if the pain causes limitation of movements of the injured area.