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Is my scraped knee infected?
jh127 posted:
I scraped my knee pretty bad approximately 96 hours ago. The wound is large and more severe around the knee joint, and there is a larger but shallower wound running down the lower leg. I will try to describe my process after the injury in case it helps.

After the injury, I cleansed it with some alcohol wipes, but due to the pain I don't think it was fully cleansed, just wiped a couple of times. I bandaged it up with neosporin and gauze, and wrapped an athletic bandage around it to keep the gauze in place and allow me to move about, since I have class every day and need to attend.

I changed the gauze twice a day and attempted to keep it away from water. The gauze did stick to the wound several times which required me to soak it under warm water in order to successfully remove the gauze with less pain.

I also put vaseline on the large but less severe wound, as there was no more blood, and it is very shallow, approximately 36-48 hours ago. Starting from 20 hours ago, I began to let the wound get some air, without bandaging. I still bandage the wound when I am required to go outdoors.

The wound larger wounds are still red and haven't scabbed yet. There is light pink skin coloration surrounding all wounds, including the shallow wound. This skin coloration is also slightly swollen, but very low amounts of swelling. The pinkness seems to be more concentrated around the hair follicles. Occasionally, there is yellow discharge that crystallizes after while. The wound itself is darker red. The light pink skin coloration is itching.

I feel slight pain when not moving my knee. I am unable to bend my knee without pain, as the skin feels like it's stretching out too far when bending. Slight bleeding still occurs but only noticeable when dabbed with paper towels.

Is my knee infected, or is it healing normally? Note: I am allergic to pollen and slightly allergic to dust. I am not sure if the pink skin is due to any type of allergic reaction to vaseline, open air, or anything else. I have not experienced previous allergic reactions to vaseline, but I have not used vaseline on such an open wound before.
Mohiba K Tareen, MD responded:
Dear jh,

The things to look for are warmth of the skin of the knee, spreading redness, severe pain, or fever. If any of these symptoms are present, I would see your doc or go into urgent care as you do not want infection to go into the knee joint.

I hope that helps
Dr. Mohiba Tareen
Tareen Dermatology, Roseville, Minn
Castle Connoly's America's Top Cosmetic Dermatologists
Adjunct Assistant Professor Univ of MN Dept of Dermatology

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Mohiba K Tareen, MD is a board certified dermatologist who has an innovative practice in Roseville, Minnesota. Tareen Dermatology ( www.TareenDermato...More

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