Lesson 5: Signs of an Infected Wound

People can usually treat minor wounds, like small cuts and scratches, at home without getting hurt. Many minor wounds will get better over time with the proper care. If you have a chronic wound or a wound that hasn’t healed in more than 30 days, you will need help from a doctor or specialist.

Skin that a wound has damaged can become infected when germs, like bacteria, grow inside the damaged skin and spread. Getting worse pain, swelling, and redness can be signs of disease. There may be nausea, chills, or fever in more severe infections, but these are not always the first signs of trouble.

  • pain
  • swelling
  • heat
  • redness
  • wound drainage or pus
  • odor
  • fever