How long does an abscess take to heal after drainage? (photo)
Hi doctors, I'm a 24 year old female who is healthy - no diabetes/chronic illnesses etc. I had an abscess on my foot which was drained about 2 months ago.
The wound was left open to heal via secondary healing. I was told that there was no further infection.
The wound still looks purplish around the pink epithelial tissue, which seems to be healing slower than I thought. Should I be concerned that the purplish areas still feel hard, and the pink tissue feels very sensitive and tight at times? When would it be appropriate for me to start exercising (jogging/running) again? I had a rather sedentary lifestyle (only took 15 mins walk every day after work) before and wanted to change that by gradually getting back into shape. Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day to all DxD doctors and dentists! 😃
Hi Cherlene, thank you for the questions. 2 months would have been more than sufficient time for a superficial abscess to heal by secondary intention.
As Dr Ang has mentioned, the pictures do look like the abscess has healed. All the purplish tissue you mention are usually the scar tissue that has resulted from secondary healing. They usually become softer over time. The sensitivity also gets better with time.
If it is very sensitive, sometimes it is due to the nerves being over-sensitive, and a desensitization program done by a physiotherapist may be useful. An alternative is also to apply some scar cream like Dermatix.
Assuming it is just an abscess and nothing else, your bones and muscles should be ok. So I don’t see any problem in you getting back to exercise. Perhaps start out with brisk walking? You can slowly progress from there as you get better and stronger.
Hope this helps,
Dr Sean Ng
1) Surgeon factors: the technique of surgery, the after surgery care.
2) Patient factors: whether the patient has some conditions that might affect wound healing.
3) Wound factors: the size and the location.
Every single wound is different, the best person to ask should really be the surgeon.
You should check with your surgeon if if is ok for you to start exercising when you go for your follow-up check ups.
Dear Cherlene, thank you for the question and the photo. May I ask, how did the abscess come on?
When treated, did they take any swabs or treat with anti-biotic? If you have concerns about healing then it’s certainly worth speaking to your medical/surgical team as Dr Paul has suggested.
Equally, if pain is an issue, Dr Sean’s suggestion of Dermatix would be worth a try.
In terms of exercise, my suggestion would be to start with non-impact/non weight-bearing exercise, such as cycling.
Swimming might not be a good idea with a healing wound. You can then transition to walking and then jogging, depending on whether the impact activity aggravates pain symptoms.
It’s important also, not to wear too tight footwear, as this might cause undue discomfort through compression. Perhaps consider applying some gauze over the top to cushion the area.
It’s good to start exercising as this can help with recovery.
Best of luck with the abscess and do contact us for any further advice!