When you have a wound, it may produce pus if it gets infected. Pus can be pretty gross to deal with, as it’s a combination of dead cells, dead tissue, and bacteria that the body is trying to eliminate in order to heal. You can help your body get rid of pus by cleaning it out using clean and sterile supplies. However, if your wound is not healing and is still producing a lot of pus, it’s a good idea to get some medical help. Your doctor or nurse will be able to assess and treat the wound and can tell you how to successfully get the wound to heal.
Wash and dry your hands. Use hot water and an antibacterial soap to thoroughly wash your hands, making sure to scrub in between all of your fingers and on every surface. Dry your hands on a fresh, clean towel, instead of a hand towel that has been used by others.
- When cleaning out any wound it is very important to have your hands clean and dry. This will prevent you from adding more germs and bacteria to the wound.
Inspect the wound closely before touching it to determine if you can clean it.Look closely at the wound to figure out where the wound opening is and where the pus is coming from. If you see areas where the pus is on the surface of the wound, you can clean these at home. If you see that the pus is inside of an abscess, a raised area of skin that is sealed, then it’s best to have it drained by a medical professional.
- Take your time assessing the wound so that you don’t disturb areas that are not exuding pus and are healing. Disturbing these areas unnecessarily can just open up the wound, creating another area where germs and bacteria can enter.
Apply a warm compress or soak the wound. For a compress, use a small clean towel, such as a washcloth, soaked in warm water. Gently lay it on the surface of the wound and let it sit there for a few minutes without applying pressure. After a few minutes take the compress off the wound and very, very gently wipe the surface to remove any pus that you have loosened. If you want to soak your wound, fill a clean sink or basin with warm water. Submerge the wound for up to 20 minutes and then pat the area dry with a clean towel, removing any pus that has been loosened.
- Repeat your compress or soak once or twice a day.
- If your wound is closed with sutures, it’s especially important not to submerge it in water. Only use a compress and follow your doctor’s directions for wound care.
Clean the area with soap and water. Apply a small amount of liquid antibacterial soap to the wound and then rinse it off thoroughly. Be sure to be as gentle as possible but to get all the soap off with clean water. It’s important to get rid of the bacteria and any debris that is coming out of the wound in the pus. Doing this once a day will keep the wound clean and will help it heal.
- Once cleaned with soap and water, pat the area dry with a clean, fresh towel. Make sure it is totally dry before you bandage the wound or apply medication.
- If the wound is on a child, tell them not to touch the wound while it is drying and before you are able to re-bandage it.
Go to the doctor if your wound is infected and won’t heal. If your wound is infected, it’s important to get medical care so that the infection doesn’t grow and spread to other parts of your body. Signs of an infection that needs medical care include dark red coloring around the wound, abscesses forming on the wound, a large amount of pus coming out of the wound, and that you have a fever or generally feel unwell.
- If your wound has green pus coming out of it, get medical care right away. This is a sign of a serious infection that will most likely require antibiotics to heal.
- While it is important for you to know how to care for the wound correctly, it’s also important to know when to get professional medical care. If you have been cleaning the pus correctly for several days and your wound still won’t heal and it continues to produce pus, then it’s time to contact your doctor.
Have the wound cleaned out by a medical professional. A doctor can remove the puss with a syringe and drain the area. If the area has a large abscess, the doctor may need to open it up with a scalpel or insert a drainage tube, which will allow pus to drain out of the wound freely.
- If the area is very tender and painful, your doctor may be able to apply an anesthetic to the area to dull the pain during the procedure.
Co-authored by wikiHow Staff
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