A skin culture is a laboratory test used to determine if a wound has been infected by organisms such as bacteria or fungus. This procedure is carried out by using a sterile swab to collect samples of tissue or excretions from the wound which are then sent to a laboratory to be examined for potential infectious agents.
Some signs and symptoms of infection might include the following:
- Skin feels hot to the touch
- The area of the wound may be inflamed or protuberant
- Reddening of the skin
- Unpleasant odor originating from the wound
- Eruptions or blisters containing pus
- Extreme tiredness
- High body temperatures and shivering attacks
A specialist may recommend this procedure if any of the following situations arises: suspected wound infection, bug, animal, or human bite.
If the doctor considers it appropriate, he or she may also order other tests such as urine samples and blood analysis, the latter one may also include a complete blood count or CBC and glucose in blood.
Once the wound culture results have been obtained, your doctor will be able to interpret those results and let you know the following steps to take. A negative result indicates that no bacteria or any other infectious organism was found.
On the other hand, a positive result indicates that infectious organisms were found and that immediate attention must be paid to the problem. Generally, doctors prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
This process does not pose any apparent risk. However, you need to be honest with your doctor and let him or her know whether you are currently taking any type of medication including natural medicines, illegal substances or over the counter drugs.