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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Fistulas, Fissures and Abscesses » Getting rid of puss smell.



02-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
KWalker
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Getting rid of puss smell.

My abscess wound is pretty well back up to my skin level now and almost all healed up, but (and its likely from sitting directly on it) but I get a lot of puss on the pads (normal) but it really stinks. I know the drainage part is normal but I have to bring body spray to school to spray on the back of my pants to overwhelm the smell of the puss sometimes.

I'm kind of afraid to clean it. I use water and try and clean it out, but would it hurt it to use soap? Its still an open wound with the tissue exposed and its too wide for the skin to grow back yet, but its really shallow now and pretty well at surface level.

I always have a clean pad without sitting puss but I noticed sometimes during a long lecture I can start to smell it after sitting on it all class.

Any ideas?
Thanks guys
02-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
Miss Underestimated
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Have you tried spraying some deodorant on the outside of the pad, or your undies?
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02-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
KWalker
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I thought about it, but I'd be afraid of the chemicals getting into the wound and making things worse again. That's why I stick to the outside of the pants.


Oh, and Pen helped me realize the spelling of "pus" but I'll leave it just for humor sake
02-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #4
mickey
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I wonder if a small can of Febreeze on your clothes would help eliminate it. However, also let doc know of smell; not a good sign. Wonder if apple cider vinegar wiped around wound would help keep it clean and reduce smell? ACV smells initially, but quickly goes away. Kills quite a bit of germs/bacteria, so may be helpful; something to consider.
02-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
simon47
 
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Hi there , thought i'd put my two cents in.. perhaps a scented dryer sheet (in your favourite scent of course) in your back pocket may work well. works great to keep a gym bag less malodourous between washing days. Also to rinse the wound without agrivating it , try a saline wash, most drugstores sell stuff called 'Wound Wash Saline' in the bandaid section. Works great on piercings and small cuts, etc., with no sting. cheers ...Simon
02-07-2012, 11:25 PM   #6
Vickiinicolulis
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great idea i think of the dryer sheet in pocket they do wonders. good luck Love & Peace
02-08-2012, 12:28 AM   #7
Susan2
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I wouldn't use soap, but I agree with simon that washing with a saline solution could help.
02-08-2012, 05:57 AM   #8
DustyKat
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I agree with mickey, if the discharge from the wound is that offensive then you should have it swabbed and sent for culture and sensitivities. It is normal for wounds to discharge but offensive discharge generally means infection. The best way to contain smell from offensive smelling wounds is to use one of the carbon impregnated dressing products. Unfortunately they don't tend to be on the cheaper side but if only used when you are at school then it may be manageable if you go that way.

Dusty. xxx
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02-08-2012, 06:39 AM   #9
KWalker
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I've had it looked at by the surgeon and she said the smell is normal. It might not even be leaking anymore but because like I said the wound is almost sitting flat with the rest of the skin, my underwear is always touching it when I sit where as before it was too deep so I only got drainage. I think it just adds up over time, and I do only notice it during long lectures when I've been sitting for awhile.

I don't know how it didn't clue in but I have a bunch of saline here from when I was still doing the packing and I could use that. I'm doing nothing for it now other than using a pad to keep it from ruining my clothes.

I never thought of the dryer sheet idea either, but that sounds like a good one!

Thanks guys!
02-08-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
Crohn's 35
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Using a pad would be a good idea, no one knows and better than ruining your clothes. I am sure your gf can help you out there. They also absorb puss smells sorry had to do it.
02-08-2012, 08:38 AM   #11
sawdust
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Oh my, Pen.

I wore "dressings," which were surprisingly like pads, came in a box that looked like pads, and even worked like pads, but were forever renamed "dressings" at our house when I was the one wearing them. Hey, it's a guy thing... nothing to see here... like power tools, fast cars, and football, grrr.

Anyway, what I was going to mention was that I was way more conscientious of smell than others even noticed. I had a few close confidants who swore I was doing fine and wouldn't lie to me in that case. Have anyone you can trust to understand and be truthful, rather than just nice? It may smell worse in your head than it does to others. Just a possibility?
02-08-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
KWalker
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Yeah these pads are medical "dressings" like you said sawdust. They're like big rectangle guaze type things that I use.

You're also right that it could just be me noticing and others not, I would just hate to be the kid that makes the room smell whenever I'm around
02-08-2012, 09:41 PM   #13
sawdust
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I completely understand that concern, which is the only reason I had the confidence to ask a few people along the way.

I had a kit that I used at work with ziplock bags, balneol, and other fresh supplies. I can't think of a really good way to "cover up" smell that isn't stinky itself, like being the "icy hot" guy or cigar smoker or something. lol I like the idea of the dryer sheet in the pocket - sounds like it'd work?
02-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #14
hannah-rose
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Hey KWalker. I had a similar problem for a long time and now the wound is healed about 99.9%

Don't use soap and try not to touch the tissue - it's still delicate and healing and you don't want to do anything to introduce infection. I only wash with water and use the shower head to make sure I'm really clean. It doesn't hurt and I've never had an infection in the year it's taken to heal. To be really clean you can also take warm salt baths - about a foot of water and a mug full of salt. This helps draw liquid from the wound and it's the exudite which smells.

When my wound was quite raw I said to my nurse that it smelled pretty bad and she said that's unfortunately normal partly because it was an exuding wound but mainly because it's your butt. I mean, it's hardly surprising that an area right on/next to your butt hole smells is it?

You probably think it's really obvious to people, but it's really not. If you're concerned use more gauze. If you're using lots of gauze and padding this will absorb all the exudite and stop it getting on your clothes.

I don't know if you're using any topical wound treatments at the moment but sometimes these creams and gels can mask smell. It's not the aim of them, just a bonus.

Hope this helps and happy healing

Hannah
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02-19-2012, 09:57 PM   #15
KWalker
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Thanks for the reply Hannah. It doesn't get on my clothes because I have the thick gauze dressings but by the end of the day, there's a lot of drainage on those. I have been using the shower head with just water to try and clean it out as best as I can, but I just thought maybe there was a little extra I could do.

I went out and bought a big tub of epsom salt for baths, and somehow I haven't managed to find the time to take one. I don't have any creams or gels to use either unfortunately.

Thanks for including that it took you about a year to heal. I'm going on 4 months now, and have a feeling I have a lot to go still. There's no pain or anything, but still draining a lot, and also quite open still but I'm glad it's normal after hearing how long it took you
02-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #16
KWalker
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Hannah, just out of curiosity. You said it took about a year to fully heal after the surgery, but how long did it take to stop draining? Was it draining for the full year or did it stop at some point? I'm going on 4 months post surgery and I'm still getting drainage
02-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #17
hannah-rose
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Hannah, just out of curiosity. You said it took about a year to fully heal after the surgery, but how long did it take to stop draining? Was it draining for the full year or did it stop at some point? I'm going on 4 months post surgery and I'm still getting drainage
My situation was unique because I went into surgery on January 12th 2011 to have a perianal ulcer curretaged which left me with a large open wound (think a gigantic fissure). Doctors initially thought it would heal fully within about 4 months, but it only healed about half way and then did nothing for 6 months which led my new consultant to think I had perianal crohn's, so he prescribed three doses of infliximab. I had the first dose of Inflix at the end of October 2011, and the last one in December, and by January 2012 was completely healed. During the 6 months I had an open wound I always had some drainage or exudate, at the beginning it was really bad and I had to to have the dressing changed daily, but after a while because it wasn't healing I just used a gauze pad for hygiene.

The amount you notice on the gauze will reduce as the area heals so as long as it is continuously improving you shouldn't have any problems.

I went back to the doctor recently because I was having pain again and he's going to give me a dose of Inflix every three months and maybe azathioprine too, but hopefully for you once you're healed, you'll be healed
02-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #18
Jobell
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This is going to sound dumb, but since the problem seems to occur when you sit directly on the area for too long, is there any way you can casually rig a ring or something to sit on, that will keep that area off the chair? like after childbirth, women sometimes use a ring cushion to sit on, or people with hemorrhoids do. Or maybe you could just add padding AROUND the wound area in your clothing, so that when you sit the pressure is on the padding and not on the wound area. Of course people might notice your sudden enhanced bootie, but hey, people pay for that look, lol.
02-26-2012, 11:24 AM   #19
KWalker
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Hannah, thanks for the reply. Sometimes I can go all day with barely anything on the pad and then some days I could change it 2-3 times a day. I'm hoping it slows down soon because I'm running out of the medical pads so I'd have to go back to the girl pads and I'm not sure if I trust them with not soaking through.

Jobell, that's not a dumb idea at all, but for me its not happening. I'm in University right now so I'm NOT going to be sitting on one of those donuts in class. I don't have any pain though, its just drains when sitting on it sometimes.
03-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
BEACHLC
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I had that problem with my fistulas. I would put surgical pads there and if I got alot of drainage I would go to the restroom and clean the area with baby wipes and put a new pad there.
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