Our last post covered the basics about treating a minor cut or scrape. One reason you should call your doctor after getting a cut or scrape is if you think your skin has developed an infection (aka cellulitis). It’s normal for there to be a little redness around the cut or scrape, but here are signs to look for that can suggest that you have a skin infection.
- Redness that spreads beyond the few millimeters around your cut or scrape
- Redness that “streaks” in lines from your wound (aka lymphangitis)
- A lot of pain over the area
- Pus (a thicker whitish or yellowish discharge)
- Fever or chills
The signs of infection are not immediately visible and may develop days after the initial injury. A common mimicker of an infection around the wound is a contact allergy, most commonly from the bandaid/bandage used. In this case, the redness will be in the shape of the bandage.
Regardless, if you suspect you have a skin infection, seek medical attention. You may need a procedure to clean your wound and/or antibiotics.