Infection can develop after an injury or wound to the skin. Signs of infection may include:
Inflammation develops as a normal protective response of the immune system when body tissue is irritated for whatever reason. When tissue is irritated, the immune system increases blood flow to the area. This causes localized swelling, warmth, and redness. The swelling may put pressure on nerve endings which may cause pain in the area. Inflammation may occur in joints or extremities. Inflammation may occur with overuse of a body area or with minor injuries. Symptoms of inflammation may be present in conditions such as bursitis, arthritis, or tendinitis.
It may be hard to tell the difference between inflammation or an infection, so be sure to evaluate any other symptoms that are present.
Pain and swelling that occur without an injury and with redness, red streaking, tenderness, heat, fever, or pus may be caused by an infection. Infections can occur without a known injury to the affected area.
Minor infections may go away on their own or with home treatment measures. These include:
More serious infections should be evaluated by your health professional. These include:
Mild inflammation or minor infections usually will clear up on their own.
Prompt medical treatment of an infection can prevent serious complications.
Last Revised: October 1, 2012
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.