signs of infection and when you see a doctor


  • An infected cut can cause red skin, translucent pus, and a yellow crust around the wound.
  • You may be more likely to get an infection if you have diabetes or an immune system disorder.
  • You should see a doctor immediately if you have a fever, chills, or pain.
  • Visit the Insider Health Reference Library for more tips.

Most minor cuts heal on their own in about two weeks. But if your cut becomes even more red and swollen after a few days, it may be a sign that you are infected.

In some cases, you can treat an infected cut at home with antibacterial ointments and bandages, but for more serious infections, you may need to see your doctor.

Here’s how you can tell if your cuticle is infected and how to treat it.

When to see a doctor

If you think your cuticle is infected, it is best to consult your doctor, he says Alana Biggers, MD, professor of medicine at u University of Illinois at Chicago.

“You should see a doctor immediately if you have a fever, chills, or experience a lot of pain that gets worse,” says Biggers. This could be a sign that the infection is spreading or getting worse. If left untreated, the infection could spread to your skin blood and other parts of your body.

Depending on your injury, your doctor may decide to prescribe it oral antibiotics.

How to care for an infected cut

To prevent the infection from getting worse, it is important to keep your hair clean. Biggers suggests following these steps to clean and treat an infected cut:

  1. Wash the area around the cut with warm soap and water, avoiding proper cutting to prevent irritation.
  2. Gently drying out the moisture can aggravate the infection, says Biggers.
  3. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or Polysporin to the area.
  4. Cover the cut with a bandage or gauze that fits the size of your wound

How to prevent infected cuts

To prevent your cuticle from becoming infected, wash it immediately with water to remove any dirt or debris that may lead to infection. Sometimes you may need to pull out the debris with tweezers.

Take away the Insider

If you have a cut, you should clean it immediately to prevent infection. Small and smaller cuts do not need much treatment, but for larger cuts, you need to keep the area clean with an antibiotic ointment and cover the cut with a gauze.

If the cut appears infected with signs such as redness, odor, or pain, contact your doctor to see if you need further treatment.

“If you suffer from fever, chills or intense pain around the cut, then you should seek medical attention right away and not wait for an appointment,” says Biggers.

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