Categories: Health & Fitness

Exudate: wound, inflammation, how to treat?

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The term exudate includes a set of bodily fluids produced by a wound or inflammation. What is the cause of a so-called “exudative” wound and how to treat it?

Definition: what is an inflammatory exudate?

In medicine, an exudate is a liquid flowing out of its natural space. It can spread into other tissues or outright outside the body. The exudate is normally highly concentrated in proteins, leukocytes and various other molecules which usually cannot pass through tissues easily. The exudation is therefore due to an anomaly: inflammation, cut… The liquid part of the blood escaping from a wound or the pus oozing out are thus considered exudates. “Exudates can be septic or aseptic whether or not they contain germs. They are secondary to the crossing of the capillary wall by blood serum. This discharge can be irritating and contain white blood cells, which gives the oozing a purulent appearance, even without the presence of pathogenic germs“, comments Dr. Paul Dupont, author of Healing your skin naturally, published by Eyrolles.

What causes an exuding wound?

Injury. An exudate may appear after an injury (scratch, scratch, burn): in which case it is pale yellow in color and spreads over the skin surface. It can coagulate giving a yellowish crust. “Its cause is then simply mechanical : if it is a wound, it flows freely over the surface of the injured skin; if it is linked to a sunburn or a burn, it will form a blister under the epidermis or small blisters filled with translucent yellow fluid“, explains the dermatologist.

Repeated rubbing. An exudate can also form a “blister” in the palmar region of the hands or in the feet, following repetitive friction.

In cases of ulcers, the exudate is secondary either to the poor drainage of the area concerned, or to its poor oxygenation: this is what creates the wound and the difficulty of healing. The cause is then either venous or arterial.

►​​​​​​​ Exudate may also occur as part ofeczema. “In the case of contact eczema, it is linked to inflammation or scratching and the excoriations it causes, especially in the folds. In the presence of eczema of viral origin such as herpes, shingles pi chickenpox, burning blisters and pain are associated”says Dr. Paul Dupont.

Exudates can be differentiated according to their appearance:

  • The colour : the translucent appearance augurs a simple mechanical phenomenon; the opaque, purulent-looking appearance should lead to the search for a germ, even if this purulent appearance is not necessarily septic.
  • The formation of a crust may suggest bacterial impetigo.
  • The smell : it can also point towards bacterial contamination.

The treatment essentially depends on the type of exudate.

► First, it is necessary todry the affected area. If it is a simple scrape or a light burn, water eosin can be used, which has the ability to dry out the eroded areas. “The healing of a burn can be promoted with a topical containing St. John’s wort and zinc (Oemine topical solar, for example)”.

► In the presence of eczema with exudation, “a zinc-based paste can be applied which will have a healing effect (Eczebio zinc paste, for example)“, recommends the specialist.

► A venous or arterial ulcer requires seek skin care to promote disinfection and healing.

Thanks to Dr Paul Dupont, author of Healing your skin naturally, published by Eyrolles.

#Exudate #wound #inflammation #treat

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