If you have any break, anywhere on your skin, it does not matter how tiny; it becomes a lure
for any bacteria to enter your body. The body’s immune system does a good job most of the time in getting rid of the little buggers, but sometimes when the bacteria’s numbers and their strength is strong, nothing will do but allow an infection to develop.
Since the human skin is your largest organ, and it covers about 22 square feet for the average adult, here at Angleton ER we see a large number of skin infections. For us to help you decide if you need medical attention, we have developed a list for you of the five signs that might indicate you are developing a skin infection.
One of the signs that are the hardest to ignore is the throbbing pain that you will usually find comes when you have a bad infection. The pain is caused by your body fighting off the foreign bodies, it, in turn, creates the inflammation to protect the affected tissue. The extra barrier is meant to work as a shield for you while your white cells are working to engulf and fight off the infection. One side effect of the inflammation going on is the pain you feel around the area of where it irritates the nerves.
If the infection turns into an abscess, the pain will be much worse because the white cells and debris will build up and there is no mechanism for release. If you develop an abscess, you must come to Angleton ER because that area will need to be cleaned and drained. If you leave the abscess on its own, it will rarely get any better, and most of the time can only get worse.
When you are fighting off the foreign bodies, one of the defense mechanisms will cause the patient to run a fever. Doctors are not sure why the body does this, but they feel your body might be attempting to develop an environment that is not hospitable for the bacteria to live.
So, whatever the reason for the temperature, it’s a sign you have to deal with the infection. Any temperature that rises over 100.4 degrees is to be considered a ‘fever’ and the higher it gets, it will indicate how severe your infection is/was. For you to be on the safe side, if you develop a skin infection, we recommend you come to Angleton ER when you first develop a fever.
When your body develops a flight or fight response, it starts making more white cells. Then, your white cells will go to battle for you, they then die off, and that is what makes up pus. It is all normal, to exude pus from an injury, but any drainage of pus that runs for days, you have to come into Angleton ER. It is hard to explain how much pus has been draining out, it all depends on how large your wound is and what stage you are at in the infection. Just use good judgment and do everything you can to exercise caution. You know it is better to be on the safe side than to be sorry later when it comes to infection.
An infection will start with the skin turning red, which some describe as “angry.” If the outer edges of the wound gets red and there are no signs of improvement, you should come to Angleton ER for us to take a close look. If the red area starts spreading, you MUST come in to see us. It is a RED flag that the infection is probably spreading, could be spreading fast, and it all can cause some severe damage to you.
If the cut or laceration you got doesn’t look like it is starting to get better in a week or two, but otherwise it doesn’t cause you that much trouble, you need to get it evaluated. It holds more than true if you suffer from a chronic medical problem, like that of diabetes.
If your wound is slow to heal, then that leaves it open for the chance to get more foreign matter or bacteria in it, so the quicker the area can close up, the better off you will be.
If you can’t decide whether you have or are developing a skin infection, never hesitate to call here to Angleton ER or come in and let us look at the site you are concerned with on your body. Angleton ER is open every day of the year and 24/7 so we can be here for you our wonderful patients.