- Local fever (the cut feels hot compared to areas around it)
- Draining pus (the cut is oozing thick, goopy stuff)
The worst case scenario is that an infected cut becomes a full-body (systemic) infection. To tell if you are developing a bigger infection, look for:
- Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Body aches
If you have an infected cut or are developing a systemic infection, see a doctor. Once a cut gets infected, you're going to need a doctor's help.
To avoid an infected cut, it's important to keep cuts clean as they heal. Soap and water is all you need. Whether you use an antibiotic ointment or not is up to you, but there's really no need. It helps to cover a cut with an adhesive bandage, but remember to change the bandage every day and wash the cut.