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packing an abscess
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packing an abscess

I recently got an abscess on my forearm. It formed for four days before I was able to see a doctor. After having the pus drained, I had to pack my wound with gauze so that the wound heals from the inside out. This is supposed to prevent any future collections of pus to appear in the infected area. However, I experience a lot of pain during packing. Having to stuff your open wound with eight inches of gauze every morning is most times unbearable. I read that packing an abscess is unnecessary, that this process prolongs healing and causes worse scars, not to mention the fact that, for me, I have to go to the doctors every 2-3 days for an indefinite length of time (it's been a  little over a week) so they can check on it, causing me to miss meetings, school, and work. I'm not about to go against my doctors orders so I pack it (reluctantly, with tears). Is there really a benefit to packing abscesses?
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6 Comments
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535822_tn?1389452880
Hi ysel I am not certain that this forum will have info on this but I may be wrong we have many good members with a lot of knowledge, but you may also want to go back to the forums page and run through all the forums there including the expert/Doctor forums on the right side of the page , I am sorry you have this pain and I hope it starts healing soon, Merry Christmas to you .Could you not have gone to the ER for them to do it for you, there is the big hospital  downtown LA
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389974_tn?1331018842
Hi,

Many hospitals these days have wound specialists that are trained to look at each wound differently. They might be able to assist you.

Your nerves are still exposed and the wound is raw. If it only hurts when you are packing it, that sounds to this ear like the irritation of putting the gauze that close to a nerve, and might not be worrisome. However, your doctor should give you a list of signs to look for.

The reason to pack it at this stage is that you do not want dust or dirt that may either inflame the healing tissue, or worse, may bring additional bacteria into your wound.

One thing to watch out for is that your wound must be able to breath (gauze is good because it lets air in and keeps dust out!). If you pack it too tightly, you could pick up a secondary anaerobic infection which is very, very bad. The good news is, if you pack it according to your doctor's directions, this complication is easy to prevent.
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