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What May Increase Your Risk for Problems From a Cut, Bite, or Other Skin Injury

What May Increase Your Risk for Problems From a Cut, Bite, or Other Skin Injury?

Many conditions, lifestyle choices, medicines, and diseases interfere with your ability to heal or fight infection. You may be at risk for a more serious problem from your symptoms if you have any of the following. Be sure to tell your doctor.


  • A problem or condition present since birth (congenital defect)
  • Age older than 60
  • Artificial joint or heart valve
  • Skin injury while traveling in a foreign country or in the United States near the border with Mexico
  • Child younger than 6 months old
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Previous surgery to remove the lymph nodes near the skin injury
  • Previous similar injury
  • Previous surgery to injured area
  • Previous surgery to remove the spleen
  • Swelling (edema) in the limb where the injury occurred
  • Unknown or uncertain tetanus immunization history

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Smoking or other tobacco use




ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedJune 10, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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