Discharge or pus

    • Brief

    • Pus is a thick fluid that your body produces when you have an infection. It has a white to yellow colour and it may or may not have a foul smell. Pus contains dead blood cells and bacteria. Visit your healthcare provider once you notice a discharge or pus from your wound or ears. Also, seek help if you see pus on the part of your skin where you have had an operation.

    • What are the causes?

    • Pus means that your body is trying to fight infection. You may get an infection because of any of the following:

      • Bacteria or fungi may enter your skin through open wounds and/or poorly maintained wounds from medical operations.
      • Vaginal or penile discharge is common with sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia.
      • Poor hygiene habits such as not cleaning wounds well or not washing your hands before touching wounds can cause pus in your wound.
      • Pus may be in your urine when you have a urinary tract infection.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • It is essential to visit your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following:

      • Pus comes out from your eyes, penis, vagina, or you notice it in your urine.
      • Pain or redness around wounds, boils or surgical sites.
      • Pus comes out from a wound after having surgery.
      • You have other symptoms like skin swelling or fever.
    • How to prevent?

    • You can prevent pus build-up by avoiding infection or stopping an inflammation early. Identifying pus early can help you prevent widespread infection or inflammation later.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Pus most times stops on its own within few days. However, you can manage or treat the symptom with the following:

      Self-care Tips:

      • Use pain killers like paracetamol to help reduce pain.
      • Wash your hands after touching a wound or boil. Make sure your injuries are always clean and dry.
      • Apply a clean napkin or a clean cloth soaked in warm water around your boils.
      • Clean open wounds with clean water or use a clean wipe.
      • Avoid bursting any boil, pimples, or swelling on your body. This may cause more boils to appear on your skin.

      Treatment Options:

      • Your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to fight infection. Depending on the site of infection and how hard it is to reach, you may be given medicines to swallow, rub on the skin or inject.
      • Your pus may also be drained using syringes and/or a drainage tube. The drainage is to prevent the pus from accumulating and cause more infection.
    • Kulawa cares

    • You should ensure that you practice proper hygiene by washing your hands with soap and under running water. Wash your hands after using the toilet or after using work tools. Trim your fingernails regularly and cook your food well.
      Try not to burst pimples and boils but apply a warm cloth on them. Do not forget to visit your healthcare provider if the pus gets worse.