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Many risks of superficial wound infection can be minimised with prompt and proper wound cleansing and treatment.

Many superficial bacterial infections and viral infections will resolve on their own without treatment, however more invasive or persistent infections may require treatment. This may range from prescription of a topical or oral antimicrobial agent, to incision and drainage or surgical debridement (removal of dead tissue) of the wound site, to intravenous medications or an extended duration of antibiotics. The choice of treatment is based upon the duration and site of infection, organisms growing from wound culture and antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Patients with antibiotic resistant bacteria or with an infection in a location that is difficult for drug therapy to penetrate (such as bone) may require extended treatment and/or treatment with intravenous medications.

Topical antimicrobials and debridement are often used for burn treatment. With extensive injuries, grafting and other surgeries may be required.

Last Review Date: August 14, 2017