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When to See a Doctor About a Wound

When to See a Doctor About a Wound

When you have a wound on your skin, chances are that you want to take care of it at home. Most of the time, especially for minor cuts likely to heal on their own, this is an appropriate course of action. Most minor cuts and scrapes heal just fine with a little bit of TLC.

But sometimes you have a situation that you can’t handle on your own. Some wounds need to be seen by a doctor right away. Dr. Michael Tran of AllCare Foot & Ankle Center in Dallas and Arlington, Texas, explains how you can tell when your wound needs medical attention.

Deeper cuts

If you have a wound so deep that the edges of the skin won’t close together, it may be a sign that you need stitches. Some signs that you may need medical attention include the following:

Punctures, bites

If you’ve stepped on a nail or have been bitten by an animal, you need to seek medical attention. You may need to get a tetanus shot or other medical treatments.

Cuts with ragged edges

If your cut is particularly deep or has ragged edges, you may need medical attention to close it  with stitches.

Wounds with debris in them

If you have a wound that has debris in it that you can’t remove on your own, you may need medical help to clean the wound.

In addition, you need medical attention if your wound is spurting blood or you can’t stop the bleeding on your own.

Cuts on your face or genitals

If you have a cut on your face or genitals, it may not heal properly on its own. Facial cuts, in particular, need expert attention to heal well.

Infected cuts

If you have a wound that has become infected, you will need medical treatment. Signs that your wound is infected include:

Fortunately, infected wounds are usually very treatable with antibiotics and professional bandaging. 

Other risk factors

Certain other factors make wounds more serious. If you have diabetes, you need to seek medical care immediately rather than trying to take care of cuts at home.

Other factors increase the risk of developing infections:

Consequences of untreated infections

If you have an infected wound and don’t seek treatment, the consequences can be very serious. Some of the consequences can include the following:

Cellulitis

This is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin. Symptoms of cellulitis can include fever, swelling, pain, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Sepsis

Sepsis is an infection of your blood. This can be very serious, even fatal. It happens when the infection enters your bloodstream, which can cause multiple organ failure and even death.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, swelling, and redness around the infection.

Necrotizing fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis occurs when the infection spreads to deeper layers of the skin called the fascia. It causes extreme pain and severe skin damage.

Wound infections can be very serious. It’s important to get medical attention if you think that you might have one. Contact Dr. Tran at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center today or request an appointment online.

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