Why do wounds smell?

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When people have wounds in various parts of the body, some may notice that they actually emit a foul smell.  Depending on the wound depth, healing stage, or medicines used these wounds may actually have different odors.  The odor emitted by wounds may also be caused by a variety of reasons.  One basic reason is dead tissue.  When part of the skin for example is scraped, part of its healing process is to decay.  When the wounded site is a large area, it means that there will also be a large part that is decaying.  This process alone may cause the wounds to smell bad.  The decay may also involve muscle tissues along with the skin and this makes the odor even worse.  The deeper the cut and involvement of soft tissues, the more likely it is for the wound to smell bad.

Infection to certain bacteria may also be the culprit in odors produced by wound.  The types of bacteria present in wounds also dictate the type of odor they emit.  Infection from klebsiella for example may result to a sweet and musty smell in the wounded site.  If the wound smells sweet and foul and accompanied with pus formation, the infection may be due to the Pseudomonas bacteria.  Medical experts can even pinpoint the type of wound infection based on the smell.  Wound odor is said to be characteristic when talking about various types of bacteria.

The problem with wound odor is that it may be part of the wound’s healing process.  If infection is suspected then treatment must be done to stop the infectious organism from delaying the healing process. The problem with wound odor is that many people try to stop the odor instead of the cause of the odor.  Some of these people resort to applying scented topical creams or use deodorizers which may not only be ineffective but may also be causing more harm to the wounded site and further delay the healing process.


Author: erwin

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