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I got stitches in a few of my cuts a week ago, an one has gotten very infected. I had to remove one stitch because the swelling was pulling it through my flesh and pus was oozing from the stitch holes. The inside of the cut is grayish but it is leaking yellow and pink fluids.  My mother is out of town and my father doesn't care, so I have to take care of it myself. It's very swollen, so I may have to drain it but I'm not sure. What should I do?

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You need to go to the doctor. Now. However you need to get there, do it... walk, bus, drive... anything. Just make sure you go straight to the emergency room and show them your arm if they ask questions. 

If you get a blood infection from this, which is likely should you continue as you are, it could kill you very quickly. The fact you are tampering with the stitches and infection on your own in less than sterile conditions without a proper medical qualification is very dangerous. An infection isn't something that will sit around and wait until someone else is here to help you. So help yourself as you don't have any other choice in the matter. You do not want to sit on this until gangrene and sepsis become an issue.

Edited by saintalto
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Get yourself to a doctor, be it the ER again, your regular doctor, an urgent care, or a walk-in clinic, and have a professional care for the wound. Potential infection on that scale is not something to be treating at home.

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Yup.

Even an urgent care or walk-in clinic if you need some privacy away from your normal clinic/provider. 

It's more important to get it properly assessed and treated, which we really just are not equipped or qualified to do on a peer support board full of wingnuts on the internet, than to leave it or try to fix it yourself.

Best case scenario, you get it cleaned out and some oral or topical antibiotics (or both). Worst case scenario, you leave it or have it inadequately treated and you die of sepsis (the infection spreads into your circulatory system causing wide-spread infection throughout the body, leaky blood vessels, and organ failure).

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Ditto on what everyone else said.  You really need to take this seriously - you are not practising good wound self-care by messing with stitches, and you should absolutely NOT try to drain the area yourself.  You also need to make sure you are up-to-date with a tetanus vaccination.

eta The following is taken from this website, which deals with caring for self harm wounds (the red text is my emphasis).  I urge you to seek help as soon as possible.

Quote

 

Dealing with Infections

---

This must be taken seriously, as an Infection can cause problems and results such as; Increased healing time, Increased scarring, Tissue death (necrosis), Gangrene, Amputation (Sometimes the site of the infection needs to be amputate to prevent the infection from spreading through the whole body) and Sepsis (where the infection spreads into your whole body.)

Some common signs and symptoms of infection of external wounds are:

  • Redness and/or swelling around a wound that continues to get worse and spread longer than 48 hours after the wound occurs. 
  • Increased heat around the wound compared to other areas of the body. 
  • Pus drainage. (Pus is thick, and can be white, yellow, green, brown or bloody)

In severe infections that have progressed you may also see:

  • Red streaks traveling towards your heart from the site of the wound.
  • The site of the wound has increased in size (ie. A 2 cm wound is now 4 cm). 
  • Redness/swelling that continues to increase even while taking antibiotics. 

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Increased pain around the wound. 
  • Bad smell coming from the wound. 

The safest course of action is to make sure that you don’t get an infection in the first place by practicing good wound care. 

If you suspect that you have an infection;

  • Call your doctor and set up an appointment to be seen in the next couple of days. 
  • If your regular doctor isn't available, go to an urgent care/after hours walk in clinic. 
  • If you exhibit any of the symptoms listed as severe signs of infection you should go to the ER/A&E for treatment as soon as possible. 
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for caring for your wound and follow the exact instructions for taking antibiotics, and always finish all of them, even if you are feeling better.
  • Practice good wound care.
  • Don’t ever take old antibiotics, or antibiotics prescribed for someone else.
  • Don’t attempt to drain a wound yourself if you believe pus is trapped inside. 
  • Don’t put alcohol, betadine, iodine, or hydrogen peroxide in a wound if you suspect you have an infection. These can actually damage cells and delay healing. 

 

Edited by MiaB
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