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Will the self removal of dry puss from the wound in the elbow be ok?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi... I fell and scraped my elbow three days ago, and now it's infected. The wound (the size of my little finger, and 1mm deep) is mostly covered by dry pus instead of a normal scab. I went to the doctor's two days ago and am taking antibiotics, but still I'm in a lot pain and the area is red and swallen. It's 2 am here (I'm in Sydney Australia) and can't get to a doctor now. Should I try to remove the dry pus, would that help/speed healing?
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 12 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

The pain and redness seems secondary to inflammatory changes produced by the infective organisms.

Use of antiinflammatory analgesics such as Ibuprofen may help in reducing the pain / redness and swelling.

Continue with antibiotics as suggested by your primary care doctor. Application of topical antibiotics such as neosporin will also be useful. You can apply topical cream after cleaning the area with clean water.

In the morning consult your primary care provider. A good dressing and swab / culture tests on the discharge are entailed during your visit to the doctor.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will the self removal of dry puss from the wound in the elbow be ok? 4 hours later
I'm afraid you didn't answer what I asked...

I know cleaning the wound is important, and I've tried to do so, however there's dry, hard pus covering the whole area, and it's really painful and difficult to pull out even when it's soft.

Should I try to remove the dry pus from the wound? Would that help speed healing?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
Yes, removing the dry and dead tissue, debris and pus from the wound will hasten the healing process. Instead of pulling it which is painful, you can use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution for this purpose.
Wishing you an early recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Will the self removal of dry puss from the wound in the elbow be ok? 4 hours later
I'm afraid my question is still to be answered.
It was mainly concerning wound care.
I know that cleaning the wound properly is important. I tried to do it but there's a thick, hard, dry pus patch over the whole wound, and even after the shower (it was softer) the dry pus was too hard to remove, as in, it was really stuck on my arm and painful to get out.
So my question really is, should I remove the dry pus patch to speed desinfection and healing, or should I leave it undisturbed. I would like to know which one would be more important to help healing.
Thanks for your help,
Kind Regards XXXXXXX

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 22 minutes later

I am sorry I could not convince you with my explanation during our last conversation. Let me try today.

I discussed your query with the specialist in the field and their opinion is that the infected hard pus is important to be removed as this will affect the healing process of the wound. This hard pus hinders the supply of the oxygen to the infected tissues which acts like an antioxidant and helps in reduction of the infection and fastening the healing of the wound.

So, please remove the hard pus formed over the wound to fasten the healing of the process.

As it is difficult to remove it on your own please consult your GP or a trained nurse who will use some local anesthesia or hydrogen peroxide making it easy and less painful during the removal.

Once the hard pus is removed, the healing process of the wound would fasten with regular dressing and antibiotics producing a normal scab within 7 days.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubts, I am available for the follow ups.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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