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Old 26-04-2008, 05:39 AM   #1
sillystring
 
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Infection - Infected cut?

I have a small cut on my wrist that I think is infected... it's really swollen and red and hot and really tender, and it's been getting worse even tho it's like 5 days old... Should I start putting antibiotic ointment on there? Is there any one type of antibiotic ointment that would work the best?

I can't go to a dr to get it checked out, because if I see my doctor for it and he talks to my therapist, if she finds out I cut it'll get me kicked out of therapy.... which is stupid, because this is all really counterproductive with my therapist setting ultimatums, because I usually end up doing more harmful things than cutting, or if I do cut then I feel like I can't get medical attention if I need it, because she'll stop working with me if I ever cut again, and if she suddenly stops working with me I'm going to have a hard time dealing with that and could be a bigger danger to myself.

The cut is really small and I normally wouldn't be too concerned about it other than it's been looking worse and my wrist has felt really stiff the past two days.



If you get rid of the pain before you have answered its questions, you get rid of the self along with it.
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Old 26-04-2008, 07:52 AM   #2
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Hey mate,
I don't know how much help i'll be because i'm an aussie and i'm sure things are different over here. You can get a topical antibiotic such as Bactroban, Fucidin or Polysporin and apply it 2-3 times a day, but these tend to be better at preventing infection rather than curing, but it sounds like you might have a secondary infection. If you've get a scab on the cut then putting antibiotics just on top of the skin may not get deep enough to cure the infection. Is it possible for you to go to an emergency room or a different doctor? That would be my first recommendation, otherwise get an antibiotic cream and try using that for a day or two, if you don't see any change in the redness ect then you'll have to get some oral antibiotics from a doc. If you go the second option then keep it covered and change the dressing a couple of times a day.
Totally sucks about the therapist/doctor thing, hope things work out, let us know how you go

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Old 26-04-2008, 08:16 AM   #3
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You need to keep a dressing on it and change it twice a day if you can, definately at least once. Clean it each time with water and a mild soap solution and put anti-bacterial cream on it, I don't know the products in the US but if you ask a pharmacist they'll know. As it is getting worse I would suggest you get it looked at, if it worsens once you start using the cream or it doesn't start to get better within the next couple of days then it really should be seen as it'll probably need a course of anti-biotics to settle it.

Signs to look for that definately need to be seen by a doctor ASAP are red lines going up your arm from the wound or you start to feel ill such as feling lethargic/ having a fever. These are signs that the infection has gone into your blood and can be very dangerous definately needing anti-biotics to clear it. It is always better however and easier to treat if you get them looked at before they get to this point. If the stiffness in your wrist gets any worse that should really be looked at too.

I know how hard it will be for you to see your doctor but is there anyway you could see a different one. It may also be possible for you to tell your doctor but make sure he doesn't pass the info on to your therapist especially as it could be detrimental to your recovery (as well as your current health if you don't see the doctor). Other that using cream/changing dressings/cleaning the wound there is little you can do, if it is getting worse it would be a good idea to get it seen


Last edited by Animad : 26-04-2008 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 26-04-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
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I know this sounds really stupid but there's a veterinary scrub called Hibiscrub. it's bloody expensive, but you mix it with warm water, and wash the area, and it combats any infections in there and prevents any more coming. It's suitable for human use -they use it in hospitals.
Also use a non stick adhesive dressing like melanin and use a bandage to hold it in placed, this will encourage the infection out, and hot compress it too with a hot flannel, then encourages infection out too.xx



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Old 26-04-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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Hmmm... I know quite a lot about Hibiscrub

You have to be careful with the stuff. It's OK to use it every now and again but not all the time and it will only kill bacteria on the outside of a cut, not ones that have gotten deeper (like within the tissues) so it wouldn't be effective in this case, neither will it be good to use inside cuts as you won't be able to scrub within the cut which is what it needs to get rid of the bugs. Hibiscrub can be quite harsh so don't use it all the time.

It also doesn't do much for your surrounding skin but is good every now and again. I wash my hands in it on a million times a day basis when I'm working, kills most of the bugs but it is very harsh.

It is good however when you first cut to clean it/wash it out. Its active ingredient is Chlorhexidine which is the main active ingredient in many commercial wound washes

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Old 27-04-2008, 03:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for the great advice everyone.

I have chlorohexidine already so I cleaned it with that this morning and then went to the store and got some antibiotic ointment and bandages.

I really hope it gets better :( It was just a very little, pretty shallow cut. I don't understand how something that little and shallow can cause a bad infection. Maybe my immune system is just weakened right now tho. I think I'm starting to get the flu or something cuz for the past couple days I've had muscle aches, nausea, a sore throat (that's gotten a LOT worse since this afternoon, I can't even swallow small amounts of liquids at all), and have just been really tired all the time (even with taking B vitamins, tho I wasn't able to do that today because my throat hurt so bad)

I really can't go to the emergency room or another doctor as the only 'insurance' I really have is thru the school, I can only go to the clinic there (then if they really can't handle it, there's a medical school about 15 minutes away that we get refered to, but we have to have our school's clinic phone the referal over there).
And I'm not so sure that my doctor would agree to keep anything hidden from my therapist.... but, I'll keep cleaning it and using the ointment, and hopefully that will help.



If you get rid of the pain before you have answered its questions, you get rid of the self along with it.
--Carl Jung

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Old 27-04-2008, 09:10 AM   #7
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Any breakage of the skin, even a tiny scratch that you struggle to see can be enough to become infected. All it takes is bacteria to get into and if these are 'nasty' ones it can set up a bad infection though they are often worse if the cut is bad but thats not always the case.

Could you just go and say you scratched it doing whatever and make out it was an accident if you don't want them to know you did it on purpose? Then it may be less stressful for you but it really sounds infected to me and with you having a virus it your immune system will be focused on that. It also means that as you have a virus you would struggle to see early signs of it spreading into your blood (if these in fact aren't signs of it though that depends how shallow it is, if it bled there is always the potential for the bacteria to get into the bloodstream).

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