How to Clean an Infection


Infections are often caused by bacteria getting into the body through a cut or abrasion. Infections can occur anywhere on the body such as the eyes. The skin is also a very common site for infections. Signs of an infection may include swelling, redness to the infected area, pus may be present and the infected area may be painful. Recommendations for cleaning an infection may be slightly different depending on the type of infection and location on the body.

  • Place the body part that is infected under the facet of a sink or bathtub. Allow lukewarm water to run over the infected area. Pat the area around the infected skin dry.

  • Use mild soap and water and wash around the infection. Avoid rubbing the infected site directly which can further irritate the skin and spread the infection. Avoid using water which is too hot or cold.

  • Wipe away any pus with a clean moist piece of gauze. Pus often oozes out of an infection. Be very gentle when wiping it away to avoid injuring the skin.

  • Apply antibacterial cream as recommended by your doctor. Using an antibiotic cream will depend on the site and extend of your infection. Follow directions on the product or from your doctor. Keep in mind some creams may not be advised for infants and toddlers.

  • Cover the infected area. Use a piece of clean gauze. Place it directly over the infected area. Apply first aid tape to hold the gauze in place. For a smaller infection a bandage or Band-Aid may work. This will help prevent additional bacteria from getting into the infection.

  • Keep in mind some infections can become worse and cause serious problems. Watch for signs an infection is becoming worse such as increased pain, redness or swelling. Fever may also develop. An infection that appears to be worsening or will not go away needs to be seen by a doctor.

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