Wounds and skin infections

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Any wound or insect bite that has been scratched can become infected and can evolve into an infection of the underlying tissue (cellulitis) or surrounding tissue (“erysipelas”).

The risk of severe skin infections is greater in warm climates.

A skin infection causes the skin to become red, swollen and painful and it will feel warm to the touch. General symptoms, such as fever, can develop at a later stage.  

Prevention

Clean the wound

Wash any wounds and insect bites that have been scratched open with soap and water.

Disinfect the wound

Disinfect the wound with a disinfectant gel or cream, for example povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine for children younger than 12 years.  Disinfecting the wound once is usually sufficient. Do not use alcohol swabs for this.

Follow-up care

Keep the wound clean and dry. Cover with clean dressings during the day.

Footwear

Never walk on bare feet, even at the beach.

In case of symptoms

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

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