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Had skin infection on wrist. On antibiotics. Pus coming out after squeezing. What should be done?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
i had a skin infection on my wrist. the doctor gave me antibiotics two days later i squeezed it and huge amounts of pus came out now i have a huge hole
Posted Tue, 24 Jul 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
You have a significantly big abscess which I assume was filled with pus and now has developed into a cavity after the pus has been drained.
However the wound still doesn't appear to be adequately healing and the hole shows that the infection is deeper than the superficial tissues .
Thus it is advisable that you consult your treating doctor (gp/ surgeon preferably ) who can perform a thorough cleansing and debridement of the wound so as to drain the pus, incise the necrosed tissues and slough,& provide appropriate dressing to prevent superinfection .This procedure is called incision and drainage of an abscess and can be done under minimal local anaesthesia .
The doctor may continue the antibiotics or change to a higher one.
He might depending on the examination advise further tests like pus culture ,blood counts &sugar, X-rays etc to find the nature and depth of the wound.
With early intervention the wound is likely to resolve in a couple of weeks .
Hence please do consult your doctor promptly.
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had skin infection on wrist. On antibiotics. Pus coming out after squeezing. What should be done? 1 hour later
i dont understand why they didn't do it 2 days ago. they just took a blood test from the end of my finger no swab. she told me the result of blood didn't matter even though it only takes 5 mins to get result as the treatment is the same. just antibiotics. they are 1gram fluxocillin 1 tab 3 times a day but i knew they should have drained it. I'm australian but living in sweden. their hospitals are world class and very cheap. but their gps also very cheap are just pathetic. she said it would be better by tomorrow. my hand was double the size of my other due to swelling my forearm was really red and swollen and the pain was a good 7 out of ten.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 6 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.
I understand your disappointment but please do not panic.
The approach to treatment of the abscess & it's prognosis depends in many factors like the site & size of wound ,bacteria causing it, the immunity of the patient and antibiotic used etc.
Many doctors try the conservative approach by giving appropriate antibiotics to try and prevent a procedure which though minor does cause some pain & discomfort to patient.The antibiotic prescribed to you seems appropriate and in case of a minor abscess it should have responded in 2 days but if it hasn't then it is for sure a more severe and spreading one which warrants a incision drainage and dressing .
I cannot comment on the decision of the treating doctor which would have been dependent on the physical examination of the wound and your symptoms 2 days back.
All I can say is that it's true that if the pain and swelling are very severe , with palpable or visible pus filled cavity then incision & drainage should be done along with prescribing antibiotics .
The result of the blood count may not alter the decision which depends more on the wound & clinical symptoms more than the blood tests. Culture can be done only if the wound is open or pus is drained which might not be the case 2 days back.That too is optional and not all abscesses are culture , only severe or non healing ones might need it.
So as of now I empathize with your condition and would advise you to go ahead for a prompt consultation either with your gp or ask for a referral to a general surgeon who is a specialist in handling such cases .
You should continue the antibiotics as advised untill further advice from your doctor .
Local wound cleaning and dressing needs to be done by a doctor or a paramedic .
For pain & swelling you should ask your doctor for appropriate analgesics like acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Hope that answers your query.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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