How can I minimise the risk of infection for a superficial open skin wound?

Doctor's Answers (2)

If you have a superficial wound, it is important to keep the wound clean. You should wash your hands to make sure they are clean before you attend to the wound.

You can attend to the wound by:

  • Washing the wound with an antiseptic solution
  • Apply some topical antibiotic ointment to the wound
  • Applying sterile white soft paraffin

Avoid picking at or rubbing the wound as this can delay the healing. You can consider dressing the wound in gauze to protect it if the wound is larger.

Do look out for signs of infection such as

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Pus or yellow discharge.

If they are present, you should see your doctor for further treatment.

Dr Chin Yee Choong

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

Superficial wounds heal best in a clean moisture-controlled environment. The risk of infection in a superficial open skin wound can be minimized by the following strategies:

  • Avoid touching the wound
  • Cleanse the wound daily using normal saline. Antiseptic washes are not needed unless the wound is dirty to begin with.
  • Use a non-stick hydrocolloid wound dressing e.g. Duoderm Extrathin or Silver Impregnated dressing e.g. Mepilex Ag
  • Avoid picking on the scab if or when it forms

Most superficial wounds will heal well within 7-14 days with these strategies. Do see a doctor if pus starts to form or if the wound gets progressively tender and painful.

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All content posted is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This Q&A is not a patient consultation and any information provided herein is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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