Even the smallest most insignificant wound can turn into a nightmare if not treated properly. Plenty of people have watched wounds that should have healed relatively quickly become problems because of improper care. This article will teach you a bit about proper wound treatment and the necessary wound care supplies.
Why Wound Care is Important
Wound care stops a bad situation from becoming worse. It’s already bad enough to have an injury, but an infected injury is even worse. A wound infection occurs when harmful bacteria is allowed into the open wound. When bacteria, also known as germs, seep into an open wound, the tissue in the wound is basically attacked. As a result, the wound is unable to properly heal.
A wound doesn’t automatically become infected when bacteria is present. A significant amount of bad bacteria must enter the wound before infection occurs. There are many different types of bacteria, and a nasty wound can be infected with numerous types of bacteria all at once. The first threat is from normal, every day bacteria on your skin. While not normally a threat, it can lead to infection when it comes in contact with an open wound. An open wound can also become infected by bacteria in air, water, or dirt. Bacteria from dirty objects, including human teeth and spit, can also cause infection.
How to Spot an Infected Wound and Get the Proper Wound Care
It’s not hard to tell if a wound is infected. An infected wound is usually easy to spot. A body temperature that’s either too high or too low can mean the wound is infected. Sometimes a person with an infected wound will have an abnormally fast heartbeat.
One of the most obvious ways to recognize an infected wound is by its smell or appearance. Blood, pus, or some other type of liquid seeping from the wound is a classic sign of wound infection. The pus or liquid may also have an odd color and a bad smell. This is a sign of a dangerous infection, and it needs immediate wound care.
Infected wounds are usually extremely painful, and they don’t heal as quickly as they should. Another sign is swelling that lasts for days. If the swelling has lasted for more than three days, and is hot or warm to the touch, then the wound is more than likely infected.
Supplies for Home Wound Care
Proper wound care depends on where the wound is located, how serious it is, and whether or not it’s already infected. You shouldn’t attempt wound care for a serious, life threatening wound on your own. The proper thing to do is get to a hospital right away. But for a less threatening wound, you can perform at home care.
The first step is to clean the wound. Ideally, you’d use a spray or solution specifically created to clean wounds. Antiseptic wound cleanser can be purchased from most pharmacies or over the internet. Wound cleanser removes bacteria from the wounded area, helps remove debris, and allows the wound to be cleaned without scrubbing. But, if you don’t have a wound cleanser, rubbing alcohol is also a great disinfectant. If none of that is available, then regular soap and water will have to suffice.
After the wound is clean, you can wrap it in a sterile bandage. Depending on the size of the wound, a band-aid may be enough. Or you may need to use a larger bandage. Some bandages are pre-soaked with medicated ointment, and are also waterproof. The type of bandage you need for your wound care depends on the injury.