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Preventing Infections From Site Injections

Sep 6, 2008
A possible complication of any steroid injection is always the infection of the surrounding tissue. Taking something that is outside your own body and piercing the protective layer that separates two areas, one resistant to infection from bacteria, the other not, is a prospect not many can fathom until they actually take the plunge - with the needle that is.

With people who inject their bodies with steroids 1-3 times a week, infection is possible at all times. That's why it's so important to create as clean an environment as possible. Strict sanitary conditions will help you avoid the insertion of infectious organisms/ foreign particles into the bloodstream. Cleanliness and sterility of injection is your first and foremost responsibility.

Infection Types
Essentially, there exists to distinct types of infections that are possible when injection AS: Cellulitis and Abscess.

You may think that this means infection of the fat tissues, but the word "cellulitis" really means the direct inflammation of cells. It is an acute type of infection and spreading of that type of infection through the skin will result in pain, edema and heat in the affected area. Cellulitis can spread from your skin to your lymphatic system very easily and quickly! It is possible to cause lymphangitis when this occurs. Swollen glands are a definitive indicator of cellulitis. The real issue is cellulitis can be exacerbated by many different types of bacteria. The most common - and most harmful - is staphylococcus. Streptococcus is also a strain that can be present in cellulitis. Oral antibiotics are extremely important in treating this - and to control pain, analgesics may be necessary (aspirin or an NSAID, such as ibuprofen). Recovery usually includes elevating the infected area, to minimize swelling, and a decent amount of ice applied to the area for a period of 7-10 days. If you let cellulitis overwhelm the area, you could end up in the hospital and deal with the prospect having to remove the deceased tissue that can't be saved by antibiotics. Once staphylococcus or streptococcus enters your blood stream and lymphatic system, you will almost likely suffer serious effects! Do not deal with this lightly!

Abscesses are much more familiar to most bodybuilders because it's likely they've had at least one in the site of injections before. An abscess is simply a collection of pus and fluid in a very specific area capable of occurring in any part of the body. Abscesses tend to occur when an area of tissue has become infected, and they are body's way of shoring up the infection itself to prevent spreading of the infection. After this a pustule forms, which is a combination of white blood cells that have rushed to the area, dead tissue, and bacteria or infection derived from foreign invasion. Most abscesses are septic (red, swollen, painful and caused by an infection) but some are sterile (caused by inorganic irritants such as drugs). Wen you inject a particular compounds and it remains in that injection envelope and won't absorb into the body, it could become a sterile abscess. These solid, circular lumps tend to scar and remain. But a septic abscess could spread out to other tissues in the area and even invade the blood stream causing blood poisoning (septicemia) which can be terminal.

You really need to open and drain most abscesses consistently. Since unlike many other infections, antibiotics alone won't take care of a fully developed abscess. On certain occasions, an abscess may drain on its own, but basically it will need to be examined, opened and drained by a doctor. Inserting material into the cavity left by this process will keep it dry and prevent fluids from forming.

You should expect to be more or less unable to workout, in both cases - cellulitis and abscess - for a length of 10 days up to several weeks. Each involves a predictable period of scar tissue formation, and could lead to residual muscle weakness for some time after.

How to Avoid Infections From Injections
~ Do not reuse needles from a previous injection

- Infection lives on used needles, as does rotting blood and tissue remnants
- Needles are generally dull and can damage tissue and invite cellulitis
~ Don't inject a single body part, push the needle and attempt another in the same session
~ Be positive you are using a sterile solution - contaminated AS can and will cause infection
~ Counterfeit or dangerous compounds often pose as known AS and could cause blood and tissue infections
~ If another person is injecting you, be positive they know what they are doing
~ Do not insert a needle you've used into multi-dose vials - skin flora spreads infections
~ Do not share needles ever! Blood born diseases such as Hepatitis B or HIV can be transmitted by committing this sin of all sins.
~ Needles are pretty cheap nowadays, keep a lot on hand to resist the temptation of sterilizing and reusing.
About the Author
Dane Fletcher is the world-wide authority on bodybuilding and steroids. He has coached countless athletes all over the world. To read more of his work, please visit either www.BodybuildingToday.com or www.SteroidsToday.com
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