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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I recently scraped my leg sliding in the outfield playing ...

Resolved Question:

I recently scraped my leg sliding in the outfield playing softball. 2 days later I had excrutiating shooting pain down my leg. The sore scabbed up and 4 days after I scraped it, my ankle and foot swelled up. I believe it is infected.   What do I need to do to clear up the infection and the swelling?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 8 years ago.


Thank you for using Justanswer for your concern.

Just out of curiosity, how long was it before you washed your leg? What did you use?

With the swelling, is it pink?

Is there any drainage, if so what color?

Basically, whatever your answers are, you will probably need to go to the ER tonight. Infections in the feet are difficult to heal. Do you notice any streaking up you leg from the wound? Streaking can indicate that the infection is spreading to the circulatory system, which qualifies as an emergency to get antibiotics right away, to prevent sepsis (a blood infection that then can result in shock and death)

Do you have a fever?

Did you have a tetanus shot?

If no tetanus shot, you need to go into that, and depending on how much the infection is spreading you will need either oral or IV antibiotics.

Feel free to reply.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Susan Ivy's Post: I didn't wash my leg until the next morning since it just seemed like a scratch. I just used warm soap and water followed by hydrogen peroxide. There is no drainage and I've been out in the sun the last few days so it's hard to tell if the wound is pink or it's from the sun. I don't have a fever either.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 8 years ago.

It wasnt the wound that I asked for the color, it is the foot and ankle that you said was swollen. I can't see you to know how swollen you are talking about, but if the wound is all along a side and the whole foot and ankle is pink, that makes the wound sound like the infection has spread. That is the symptom you are describing that is the most worrisome. If the infection has spread to the skin tissues of your food and ankle, this is called cellulitis, and it can be hard to cure, the longer it has to spread. If your foot is pink and swollen, and especially if you see any streaks going up your leg from the wound, then you need to see someone for antibiotics soon.

Besides that, care is soap and water daily. If the wound is open, use an antibiotic cream like neosporin or triple antibiotic on those areas. Not on a dry scab, as that is a natural bandaid. If the wound is large and irritated by you clothing, then go to your local Drug store to buy gauze with tape, or the pre-made large dressing covers that are available.

For the edema or swelling, elevate your leg to hip or even better, heart level at least 3 times per day.

This should answer your question, but please write back if you need further clarification.


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