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Wound oozing clear fluid--what should I do?


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#1 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:48 PM

Two and a half weeks ago I cut my finger near the first knuckle. The cut extended around my finger but not all the way to the back of the finger.

I had stitches. Dr removed them too soon (6 days) and the whole thing split open again. We washed with alcohol and applied steristrips.

The steristrips have been on for 10 days. They were starting to peel off, so I cleaned some nail scissors with alcohol and trimmed what was peeling. The skin underneath was wet and white but holding together, so I cleaned what was exposed with alcohol and left it alone. It is not white anymore (several hours later).

I also figured out only a few days ago that I am allergic to the triple antibiotic gel I have been using (sulfa). When the stitches were still in, I used it directly on the wound. After the steristrips were put in place, the dr told me to put the gel around the area without touching the steristrips to address the infection that had set in. I now wonder if what we thought was infection was actually the allergic reaction.

My entire hand is an itchy mass, with a mild, ecxema-like rash over a large area, including the finger with the steristrips. I have been cleaning my hand with alcohol, and then applying either cortisone or caladryl. I have not taken any antihistamines orally because I was on an antibiotic for the wound infection. I finished the antibiotic Friday.

I also have a yeast infection and have been treating with OTC stuff and probiotics. I think it's pretty well under control.

The part of the wound that is still under the steristrips is oozing clear liquid. Aside from the itching, I'm not really in pain, though the wound is slightly sore to the touch. There are no defined red streaks.

What should I do? Here's my plan, unless you've got a better one:

--Clean the tiny bit of exposed wound and cover with a bandaid for the night.

--Clean my itchy hand with alcohol and apply the caladryl.

--Take one allegra along with the probiotic.

In the morning, should I try to get the steristrips off? It should peel off if I soak with petroleum jelly, so I don't think that would affect the wound. Or should I stop trying to manage this on my own and see the dr? If it's simple enough, I'd like to do it on my own.

Thanks for any advice you can toss my way.

#2 2cents

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:53 PM

Personally, I would go back to the dr. and have them evaluate for infection. The rash, itching and oozing is troubling.

#3 mom2hunangirls

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:58 PM

I'm pretty sure the alcohol is a bad idea. I think it breaks down the tissue??? I think you want to make sure it's clean and liberally apply neosporin and bandage.
Oozing is a sign of infection I would want to go back to the doc.

ETA- sorry I didn't read your post well at all!
I say, go back to doc!!

Edited by mom2hunangirls, 22 July 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#4 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

I would stop using the alcohol. I would dilute some tea tree oil with a bit of olive oil and put that on the skin. Tea tree is anti-fungal, anti-yeast and anti-bacterial. This is what I'm using on my second degree burn (not the would itself which is literally a hole in my arm) but the infected area around it. Band-aid brand has these blister bandages that act like a second skin. They seal in the moisture. I am using something like this but much bigger on my wound. My bandage is actually designed for bedsores. But for a finger, the blister band-aids would work, I think.

#5 Dory

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:06 PM

With my horses, (and my kids) so long as the fluid is clear with no odor, I don't worry about it. I continue to clean daily and leave it alone. If it isn't red or irritated, or anything like that, I don't panic much.

#6 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

Personally, I would go back to the dr. and have them evaluate for infection. The rash, itching and oozing is troubling.


The rash and itching are the allergic reaction. I am allergic to sulfa drugs, and the triple antibiotic gel contains sulfa.

I have no idea if the clear fluid is related to the allergic reaction or is normal to a wound like this.

#7 Cindy in FL.

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

I'd stop the alcohol. That will dry out your skin and make it worse. I would clean it with soap and water and leave it uncovered tonight.

Cindy

#8 Impish

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:09 PM

I'd go to the Dr. I'm a wussy like that. :tongue_smilie:

#9 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:12 PM

I would stop using the alcohol. I would dilute some tea tree oil with a bit of olive oil and put that on the skin. Tea tree is anti-fungal, anti-yeast and anti-bacterial. This is what I'm using on my second degree burn (not the would itself which is literally a hole in my arm) but the infected area around it. Band-aid brand has these blister bandages that act like a second skin. They seal in the moisture. I am using something like this but much bigger on my wound. My bandage is actually designed for bedsores. But for a finger, the blister band-aids would work, I think.


No tea tree oil in the house, and it's too late to go to the store. Perhaps I should just swab with water?

The blister bandages are a good idea. I also have a package of steristrips I can use. I could possibly ease off the current strips with bacitracin or petroleum jelly, sanitize the wound, and then apply new strips????

#10 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:14 PM

With my horses, (and my kids) so long as the fluid is clear with no odor, I don't worry about it. I continue to clean daily and leave it alone. If it isn't red or irritated, or anything like that, I don't panic much.


It appears clear to my eyes. However, the part that dried onto the steristrips dries yellowish (clear to the eyes but leaves a stain when dry). However, it does not look like pus. It's clear fluid.

It's also hard to speak to the "irritated" factor. My hand is irritated due to the allergic reaction. I know I am definitely allergic to sulfa from a previous reaction, and the gel definitely contains sulfa.

#11 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:17 PM

I think the clear fluid is probably just serum. It isn't bad, from what I understand.

#12 laundrycrisis

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:19 PM

I would call the doctor and ask for a prescription for Bactroban ointment. It is a very powerful and effective topical antibiotic. Also for oozing you can ask for a preparation called Castellani paint. It will dry up an oozing wound.

#13 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:22 PM

I'd go to the Dr. I'm a wussy like that. :tongue_smilie:


I can do that, but I am spooked.

I have only seen a dr in this area once. The dr that I know and love is an hour away.

A few years ago my son hit his head playing tag while we were on vacation. When the dr went to remove the bandaging, he caused a lot of pain and tore off half of ds' eyebrow. I made him stop and leave it alone. (He wasn't my usual dr.) Later a nurse gave us the tip to soak in petroleum jelly and sure enough, the bandage peeled right off. I now have a silly fear that the same thing will happen to me if I show my finger to another dr and I will end up with my dominant hand in a splint even longer. :tongue_smilie:

Really, though, the bottom line is that I have had six months of physical therapy. My ds had two root canals, multiple xrays, and multiple dr visits for a broken nose and broken arm (wrestling, ripsticking). We are not poor, but it has been an expensive year so far and I am sick of going to the dr.

#14 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:24 PM

Alcohol is very drying, and I would not use any more. My guess is that it is contributing to the skin irritation. I would clean it all thoroughly, and put neosporin on it. My inclination would be to take the coverings off before bed, unless it is your sense that they are what is holding the wound closed, in which case change them. But air is good for healing, as long as infection is avoided.

Clear fluid can be from a buildup that is benign, like in a big blister. I would go back to the Dr. tonight if pus or red, hard, or swollen areas were appearing, because there is a fair amount of hollow space in the palm area of your hand for an infection to fester, and it can get overwhelming without detection that way.

I would go ahead and take the allegra tonight, ASAP, and see if that helps with the ecxzema, but that usually takes a while to clear. If you have cortisone cream, that would help if you apply it topically but avoid the wound completely.

Then I would see the doctor tomorrow or maybe give it one more day to see if the symptoms are subsiding and then go if they are not. You have a lot of separate things going on, and it sounds like you're unpeeling them very well.

Edited by Carol in Cal., 22 July 2012 - 10:50 PM.


#15 Harriet Vane

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:27 PM

Alcohol is very drying, and I would not use any more. I would clean it all thoroughly, and put neosporin on it. My inclination would be to take the coverings off before bed, unless it is your sense that they are what is holding the wound closed, in which case change them. But air is good for healing, as long as infection is avoided.

Clear fluid can be from a buildup that is benign, like in a big blister. I would go back to the Dr. tonight if pus or red, hard, or swollen areas were appearing, because there is a fair amount of hollow space in the palm area of your hand for an infection to fester, and it can get overwhelming without detection that way.

I would go ahead and take the allegra tonight, ASAP, and see if that helps with the ecxzema, but that usually takes a while to clear. If you have cortisone cream, that would help if you apply it topically but avoid the wound completely.

Then I would see the doctor tomorrow or maybe give it one more day to see if the symptoms are subsiding and then go if they are not. You have a lot of separate things going on, and it sounds like you're unpeeling them very well.


Just to clarify, it's on top of my hand. The wound is on top of my finger, and the allergic reaction is on top, not the palm.

Part of shy I was considering taking off the steristrips is that it has been ten days. Surely it's not so fragile now?????

Thanks for the feedback.

#16 Impish

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:28 PM

I can do that, but I am spooked.

I have only seen a dr in this area once. The dr that I know and love is an hour away.

A few years ago my son hit his head playing tag while we were on vacation. When the dr went to remove the bandaging, he caused a lot of pain and tore off half of ds' eyebrow. I made him stop and leave it alone. (He wasn't my usual dr.) Later a nurse gave us the tip to soak in petroleum jelly and sure enough, the bandage peeled right off. I now have a silly fear that the same thing will happen to me if I show my finger to another dr and I will end up with my dominant hand in a splint even longer. :tongue_smilie:

Really, though, the bottom line is that I have had six months of physical therapy. My ds had two root canals, multiple xrays, and multiple dr visits for a broken nose and broken arm (wrestling, ripsticking). We are not poor, but it has been an expensive year so far and I am sick of going to the dr.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:


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