Q. Can moist skin and oozing of fluid from the site of Achilles surgery be due to infection?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 16, 2021

Hi doctor,

I had Achilles surgery three weeks ago. I went to the doctor one week out wound looked fine, then two weeks out, it looked funny. I have not done anything, and the doctors did not tell me why it looks this way. Am I infected, or is this a cause for concern? I got put on antibiotics and was told to come back next week to get a walking boot. I am currently taking Aspirin.



Welcome to

I have read your query and saw the images (attachment removed to protect patient identity) attached.

The first week's picture looks normal. It is dry.

In the second week's picture:

  • What is that white thin coating layer? Is that antibiotic cream?
  • The lower half of sutured skin looks moist, and at one point, there is some reddish fluid oozing out. It should be dry also.
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms around the stitches:
  • Is there any discharge from the wound?
  • Is there any odd smell of the fluid oozing out?
  • Is there any increase in the warmth of the nearby local skin?
  • Do you have any increase in the pain?
  • Do you have any fever or high temperature?
  • When will the suture be removed?

Would you please reply to the above questions?

Did you see your doctor and ask why the skin looks moist and some fluid is oozing out?

Take care.


Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

The sutures will be removed after four days. The coating was there when they took the splint off. I have no clue what it is, and it seems like they did not either. It is stinging more. The fluid oozing out was blood. It was bleeding when they took the dressing off. I had no fever, and it was just a little more stinging. I saw my doctor, and I took the picture during my doctor's visit. They did not say anything other than what it looked like. It got wet, but it did not worry me. There are no odd smells, but they put me on antibiotics after that visit. They put me back in a sling, so I do not know what the wound is doing anymore.



Welcome back to

Such wet skin appearance might be due to the splint. When there is no fever, odd smell of the fluid oozing, and no more increased pain, it all hint that the wound is not infected. Please take the prescribed antibiotic on time regularly. Your treating doctor has seen it too, so do not worry. You will get your sutures removed in the upcoming four days too. That time you will see more clearly whether the skin edges have adequately adhered to or not. Generally, by around three weeks (lower extremities), the skin edges should unite properly without gap due to the suture, although it will be weak (which gains strength in due course of time).

I hope and wish the wound should heal properly. Take care.


Thank you doctor,

Thanks. I am worried. My heel has started hurting more. It is just hard to say what is normal and what is not. The actual wound is stinging, but the heel under the wound is in pain. I will wait for my next visit. Thank you for answering.



Welcome back to

I am sorry to read your reply. It should not hurt or pain much. Instead, skin sutures should start to heal by this time. The skin should be adequately united without a gap. What the doctor tells about the wound after removing the suture? I hope you have been properly instructed to take care of it and take the necessary medicine. Take care. Thanks.

Thank you doctor,

The suture is not taken out yet. The skin is not completely together yet, and there was bleeding slightly when the doctor pressed it. So the doctor said to wait for one more week. I have been given two more weeks of antibiotics as well.



Welcome back to

I have gone through the attached picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity). The upper part of the sutured skin is nice and healthy. The lower part is unhealthy. So only you have been given additional two more weeks of antibiotics to prevent any infection occurring in the wound.

Compared with the last picture which you had attached, it is healing. In the last picture, the whitish area was long and extended till the bottom of the heel, but it has reduced in this recent picture. Also, the surrounding skin is not tight, and it is loose. Do not worry. It will heal. Just follow the precautions and advice given by the doctor. Take antibiotics on time. Thanks.

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