From boogers to pus, our bodies can produce pretty funky fluids.
Made of bacteria mixed with white blood cells that our bodies use to fight infections, pus is most often seen in skin infections like pimples, abscesses and surgical incisions.
Pus is a substance that is produced by a battle between our immune cells and bacteria.
“A wound that’s oozing pus definitely means you have a bacterial infection,” said Dr. Brady Didion, a Marshfield Clinic Health System family medicine physician.
An incision or wound that’s healing well looks slightly red and may seep clear fluid. An infected wound may ooze whitish, yellowish or greenish pus. It looks red, feels warm and painful, and it may be accompanied by fever and chills.
Know when to get serious about pus
An untreated infected wound can lead to a more serious infection. The infection can spread to your bloodstream and deeper tissue. A slow-healing open wound increases your risk for other types of infections.
A wound is more likely to become infected in people with weakened immune systems, diabetes or other chronic medical conditions like kidney, heart and lung disease because their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight infections.
See a doctor if you have an infected cut, surgical wound, skin bump or boil that’s warm to the touch and draining pus.
Any infection that is painful, red or maybe has pus inside should be looked at by a doctor the same day,” Didion said.
Your provider may drain the area, clean the infected area using sterile tools and prescribe antibiotics. To help ensure they are prescribing the right antibiotics, they may sample (or ‘culture’) the pus. Large wounds or abscesses may need to be cleaned and drained by a surgeon.
Don’t fret over a simple pimple
A small amount of pus sometimes forms in pimples. It usually isn’t a big deal, and you can manage it at home. You probably don’t need to see a doctor unless a pimple gets swollen, red and painful.
“Use a warm compress to draw it out of pimples, but don’t pop or squeeze them,” Didion said.
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I had an incision on my neck for sleep Apnea surgery, that at first was taking augmentin for safety concerns. Had to go off it, the side effects were bad. Dr told me to take probiotics. After 18 days of that I developed a infection, Green pus gushed out then blood, then almost clear blood.
What kept me from getting sicker was the fact that I had been on amoicillian 875mg for a tooth infection. Presently it seems to be healing well. My last dose of meds will be a total of 7 days. Probiotics may be good for gut health, but next time I won't be taking that. Septise is a bad thing that I don't want.
Thank you, this was very helpful. I have a roommate who is in the hospital with a horrible skin infection and I think I may have the same thing. I'm going to go get checked shortly.
Don't worry about a pimple or blackhead or a little bump that oozes a tiny drop of clear liquid and looks normal? I found no mention of basal cell cancer in this article. I found spots next to my ear, on my neck and upper lip, and three doctors said they were nothing. I asked for a biopsy and all four samples came back basal, and all had to be cut again because the first samples did not have clear edges. I think this article ignored an important detail.