Most cuts and scrapes heal by themselves when they are cleaned and cared for. Sometimes bacteria enters a wound and causes an infection.
The bacteria that causes an infection can come from your own skin, from your surroundings, or from the knife, piece of glass, or other object that punctured your skin. Foreign objects in a wound, such as splinters or grains of sand, increase the risk of infection.
See a doctor if a wound shows any of the following signs of infection:
Puncture wounds might heal over on the surface, while an infection develops deep within the wound, causing pain and swelling.
People with the following conditions should seek immediate medical attention for a wound infection:
Your doctor will clean the infected area and prescribe medication to fight the infection. Persistent infections may require additional wound care treatment.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. It is information that is generally available. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.