Wounds are very common in our daily lives. They can range from minor cuts and scrapes to more significant injuries.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, our body’s natural defense mechanisms work to heal wounds and injuries. However, there is always a risk of infection that can complicate the healing process and potentially lead to severe health issues.
Preventing wound infections is a crucial aspect of wound care, and there are various medical treatments available to mitigate this risk. In this article, we’ll look at five treatment options that you can seek to stop your wounds from becoming infected.
#1 Cleaning the Wound
One of the most fundamental steps in preventing wound infections is proper wound cleaning and irrigation. You must remove any dirt, debris, or foreign substances that may have entered the wound. In this case, clean the wound with mild soap and lukewarm water.
Avoid any sort of harsh or antiseptic solutions in this regard. They tend to damage healthy tissues and also delay the healing process.
#2 Sterile Dressings
Covering a wound with a sterile dressing is a critical step in preventing infection. According to WebMD, the dressing acts as a barrier that keeps the wound clean and protected from external contaminants.
Sterile gauze, adhesive bandages, and wound dressings are commonly used for this purpose. When choosing a dressing, it is important to ensure that it is clean, dry, and free from any adhesive residues.
Regularly changing the dressing is also vital. It should be replaced whenever it becomes soiled, wet, or shows signs of wear and tear.
As per Steroplast Healthcare, dressings should allow for proper airflow while maintaining a sterile environment around the wound. This helps in preventing the growth of bacteria and promotes a conducive healing environment.
#3 Tetanus Vaccination
Certain wounds, such as puncture wounds, animal bites, or injuries sustained from contaminated objects, carry an increased risk of tetanus infection. Tetanus is a bacterial infection that can lead to severe muscle stiffness and spasms. To prevent tetanus, healthcare professionals may recommend a tetanus vaccination or booster shot for individuals with wounds that may be contaminated with the bacteria.
Tetanus vaccines are highly effective in preventing this potentially life-threatening infection. It is essential to keep track of your vaccination history and ensure that you are up to date with your tetanus shots. Prompt vaccination after a wound that puts you at risk is crucial in preventing the development of tetanus.
#4 Surgical Wound Closure
For deep wounds, lacerations, or surgical incisions, surgical wound closure is an essential measure to prevent infection. This procedure involves stitching or stapling the wound edges together to promote proper healing and reduce the risk of bacterial entry.
Surgical closure provides a more controlled and sterile environment for wound healing compared to leaving the wound open. The choice of closure method, whether stitches, staples, or adhesive strips, depends on the wound’s location, size, and depth. The healthcare provider will assess the wound and determine the most appropriate closure technique.
Silver nitrate (AgNO3) can also be used for wound closure through the process of cauterization. Here, the wounds are treated by burning off the skin. These controlled burns help stop bleeding and can prevent wounds from becoming infected.
Among other things, the AgNO3 molar mass was taken into consideration when coming up with this treatment process. Exposure to just any type of silver salt or solution won’t work in cauterization. Cauterization must be conducted using only silver nitrate.
According to Proprep, silver nitrate’s molar mass is 169.87 g/mol. Had it been any different, it might not have had the same effects for cauterization as it does now.
#5 Systemic Antibiotics
In some cases, particularly with wounds that are at higher risk of infection, healthcare providers may prescribe systemic antibiotics. Unlike topical antibiotics, systemic antibiotics are taken orally or intravenously and work to combat bacteria throughout the entire body. These antibiotics are more potent and can be prescribed when there is a significant risk of bacterial infection spreading beyond the wound site.
The decision to prescribe systemic antibiotics depends on the wound’s severity, location, and the individual’s overall health. It is important to follow the prescribed course of antibiotics as directed by your healthcare provider. Incomplete courses or misuse of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance, a global health concern.
When taking care of a wound, one must think of the long-term consequences of the wound itself. This includes possible infections caused by the wound or its opening. Hence, if you’re dealing with such wounds or injuries, don’t hesitate to seek the treatments discussed above. They can help you prevent wound infections and avoid possible health complications.