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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A wound infection is when bacteria enter a break in the skin.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Blood soaks through your bandages.
- You have severe pain.
- The skin around your wound is numb.
- You cannot move your limb below the wound area.
- You develop blisters, or your skin starts to peel or change color.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- The inside of your wound is dark or bright red.
- You have more pain, redness, or swelling in your wound.
- Your swelling does not go away after 5 days.
- You have new drainage or a bad odor coming from the wound.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider in 1 to 2 days:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.