Infected wounds

After treatment of an infected wound, the wound must be kept clean and treated at home. Watch out for new signs of infection.

About your visit

You have had an infected wound cleaned. Your wound may have been covered with a bandage or a plaster, and we have talked to you about how to treat it when you get home.

When you get home

Contact your general practitioner at signs of infection

Keep an eye out for signs of new infection until the wound has healed. Contact your general practitioner or dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline outside your general practitioner’s opening hours if you experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, warmth or swelling at the site of the wound.
  • Throbbing or pulsing pains.
  • Red stripes extending from the site of the wound.
  • Wet or foul smelling bandage.
  • Fever.

Keep taking the medicine even if the infection goes away

If you are on antibiotics, you should continue treatment, even though the signs of infection go away.

Keep the wound clean

Keep the wound clean by:

  • rinsing it with tepid water for 10-15 minutes three times a day
  • dabbing the wound dry with a clean towel
  • putting on a clean bandage or plaster.

Continue treatment until the wound has healed.

Avoid soap and disinfectants

Avoid cleaning the wound with soap or disinfectants, e.g. chlorhexidine or hand disinfectant. If we have so advised, you may in some cases use a mild, pH-neutral soap. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with water.

Only take showers

You may take showers, but avoid baths, swimming pools and swimming in the sea until the wound has healed, as this increases the risk of infection. Carefully dab the wound with a clean towel or washcloth when drying.

Avoid handling food if the wound is on your hand

If the wound is on your hand, do not handle food until the wound has healed.

Practical precautions

Tetanus vaccination

If you received a tetanus vaccination at the hospital, it is normal for the skin around the area to become red, swollen or tender. This will pass after about a week.

Avoid direct sunlight

You should avoid getting direct sunlight on the wound as long as the skin is red. The skin usually remains red for six months to a year. During this period, the skin is especially at risk of sunburn and may darken. The dark colour will not disappear. We recommend using a sunscreen with a high SPF or wearing clothes that cover your scar.

Worth knowing

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