How can you tell if a wound is infected?



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ebec11
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Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:38 pm

I self-harm (which I am trying - rather unsuccessfully - to stop), and once I got a wound that started turning black. Now, I normally hydrogen peroxide my injuries a lot so they don't get infected, but I couldn't find it for a couple weeks. It went away after I found the hydrogen peroxide again, but I am curious if that was the beginning of an infection.



kip
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:01 am

Black? That's either a really dirty scab or the beginnings of gangrene. Peroxide was the best thing you could do.

Infection: The area becomes warm to the touch, possibly slightly swollen, and often has a red-tinted ring around the wound. Infections usually feel a bit sore too, though that seems to vary a bit.


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crownarmourer
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:04 am

If it turns green and smelly you have gangrene, otherwise it heals by itself.



Peko
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:25 am

I heard hydrogen peroxide actually doesn't work (based on this article I found it looks like it depends on the concentration & what you use it for). I think you'd better off w/ alcohol, Neosporin, etc.
black & rough to the touch = scab = OK its healing :D
black edges w/ inner part some type of green/yellow & shiny w/o closing = possible gangrene (worst case scenario) or infection = problem

Thought you might find these links interesting: :)
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/h/ ... roxide.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gangre ... N=symptoms

p.s. just type in "black wounds" in the Mayoclinic search box & you get a list to look through


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kip
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:47 am

Peko wrote:
black & rough to the touch = scab = OK its healing :D
black edges w/ inner part some type of green/yellow & shiny w/o closing = possible gangrene (worst case scenario) or infection = problem


Huh. Maybe because my skin colour is best described as see through, but every time something turns black for me, it's bad. BAD bad. Like on my hand, I now have a half inch scar from what was originally a tiny scrape. And it just scabbed over black like you say, Peko.

*interest piqued*

Also, hydrogen peroxide is actually supposed to be bad for simple wounds because it actually destroys living tissue around the wound. Not a bad thing if you've got a nice infection, but definitely something you don't want if you scar easy. Rubbing alcohol is supposed to be one of the best, along with iodine.


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jocundthelilac
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:20 am

Did the wound hurt more than usual to the touch? If so I think a minor infection could have been possible.


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Peko
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:34 am

kip wrote:

Huh. Maybe because my skin colour is best described as see through, but every time something turns black for me, it's bad. BAD bad. Like on my hand, I now have a half inch scar from what was originally a tiny scrape. And it just scabbed over black like you say, Peko.

*interest piqued*

Also, hydrogen peroxide is actually supposed to be bad for simple wounds because it actually destroys living tissue around the wound. Not a bad thing if you've got a nice infection, but definitely something you don't want if you scar easy. Rubbing alcohol is supposed to be one of the best, along with iodine.


I'm no expert on wounds (my knowledge comes from family & a hischool anatomy class :lol:) When you say your skin always turns black, do you mean when its open like a wound, or closed/no cut like a bruise. If I were you I'd ask a doctor about the scarring from a scrape b/c I'm not familiar w/ that (I only have like one tiny scar from a scrape in the pool on my wrist & it never bruised, bled or anything... good old chlorine hit it :) ) and am not a doctor. All I know is discoloration, puss, festering, bruising for long periods of time, not feeling when you bleed (relative w/ that one...) etc. are not good.


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ebec11
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:11 pm

Is Hydrogen Peroxide better then using nothing though? My mom doesn't know about the self harm much, and if I start buying rubbing alcohol or iodine, she'll be suspicious.



zombiecide
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Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:05 pm

I used to self-harm a lot when I was in my late teens, I also was hospitalized for my depression/suicidality/self injury.
The doctors there told me the best thing to do for clean cuts - cuts only to the epidermis or fat layer, done with clean knives or blades - was to let the wounds clean themselves with the extravasating blood, and wait until it clogs up. Then let the wounds heal without bandaging, if possible. They told me to only bandage the wounds when they were likely to get dirty or break open.
Fresh cuts from razorblades often bruise because the cut is so narrow that it closes before the bleeding had time to stop.
What you should look out for is the tissue around the wound, if it has changed sensivity or changes in colour. If there's anything like that, anything out of how your wounds usually heal, you should see a doctor.


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kip
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Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:25 am

Peko wrote:
kip wrote:

Huh. Maybe because my skin colour is best described as see through, but every time something turns black for me, it's bad. BAD bad. Like on my hand, I now have a half inch scar from what was originally a tiny scrape. And it just scabbed over black like you say, Peko.

*interest piqued*

Also, hydrogen peroxide is actually supposed to be bad for simple wounds because it actually destroys living tissue around the wound. Not a bad thing if you've got a nice infection, but definitely something you don't want if you scar easy. Rubbing alcohol is supposed to be one of the best, along with iodine.


I'm no expert on wounds (my knowledge comes from family & a hischool anatomy class :lol:) When you say your skin always turns black, do you mean when its open like a wound, or closed/no cut like a bruise. If I were you I'd ask a doctor about the scarring from a scrape b/c I'm not familiar w/ that (I only have like one tiny scar from a scrape in the pool on my wrist & it never bruised, bled or anything... good old chlorine hit it :) ) and am not a doctor. All I know is discoloration, puss, festering, bruising for long periods of time, not feeling when you bleed (relative w/ that one...) etc. are not good.


I feel like I'm hijacking the thread, but I've always scarred easy. Last time I had any sort of doctor visit was... three years ago, if you don't count the hit and runs on the ER for steroids and antibiotics for the chest infections I get. I had surgery years back, and the doc accused me of playing with the incision because he did it like you would a plastic surgery, that way there would be minimal scarring. I just scar and bruise really easy. I've got bigger fish to fry health-wise right now anyway, so I'm not too horribly concerned.


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0_equals_true
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Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:12 am

ebec11 wrote:
Is Hydrogen Peroxide better then using nothing though? My mom doesn't know about the self harm much, and if I start buying rubbing alcohol or iodine, she'll be suspicious.

Why the hell are you using hydrogen peroxide? Use surgical sprit for cleaning wounds and what you are cutting yourself with, and an antibiotic cream to prevent the spread of infection. Believe me you do not want septic shock or necrosis.

Not telling some hasn't worked, I would tell someone.


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Peko
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Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:12 pm

0_equals_true wrote:
ebec11 wrote:
Is Hydrogen Peroxide better then using nothing though? My mom doesn't know about the self harm much, and if I start buying rubbing alcohol or iodine, she'll be suspicious.

Why the hell are you using hydrogen peroxide? Use surgical sprit for cleaning wounds and what you are cutting yourself with, and an antibiotic cream to prevent the spread of infection. Believe me you do not want septic shock or necrosis.

Not telling some hasn't worked, I would tell someone.


neosporin, polysporin, etc. What med supplies do you have at home?


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All dependent upon your own perspective in your own form of existence, so trust your own gut and live the way YOU want/need to.


ebec11
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Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:59 pm

Peko wrote:
0_equals_true wrote:
ebec11 wrote:
Is Hydrogen Peroxide better then using nothing though? My mom doesn't know about the self harm much, and if I start buying rubbing alcohol or iodine, she'll be suspicious.

Why the hell are you using hydrogen peroxide? Use surgical sprit for cleaning wounds and what you are cutting yourself with, and an antibiotic cream to prevent the spread of infection. Believe me you do not want septic shock or necrosis.

Not telling some hasn't worked, I would tell someone.


neosporin, polysporin, etc. What med supplies do you have at home?

First of all, did I ever say I was a cutter?
I said I self harmed, that does not necessairly mean cutting. I did cut once, but my main self harm is to pick at my skin.
I have polysporin, I'll start using that.
I didn't know hydrogen peroxide was bad, that's what my mom uses sometimes.



zombiecide
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Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:58 pm

ebec11 wrote:
First of all, did I ever say I was a cutter?
I said I self harmed, that does not necessairly mean cutting. I did cut once, but my main self harm is to pick at my skin.
I have polysporin, I'll start using that.
I didn't know hydrogen peroxide was bad, that's what my mom uses sometimes.


Most people I knew who self-harmed being aware of it being self-injury sooner or later cut. It's a fashion thing.


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ebec11
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Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:29 pm

zombiecide wrote:
ebec11 wrote:
First of all, did I ever say I was a cutter?
I said I self harmed, that does not necessairly mean cutting. I did cut once, but my main self harm is to pick at my skin.
I have polysporin, I'll start using that.
I didn't know hydrogen peroxide was bad, that's what my mom uses sometimes.


Most people I knew who self-harmed being aware of it being self-injury sooner or later cut. It's a fashion thing.

If I ever did cut, it would not be on my arms. One of the addicting things for me is that the self harming is secret and it's mine. If somebody found out and made me stop, I would seriously freak out.



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