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Medical Terminology: weep (of a wound)

  1. Jul 28, 2010 #1


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    Terminology: "weep" (of a wound)

    Consider a typical open sore or wound -- in this case, from poison ivy contact. What do you call the yellowish secretions? I've heard it as 'weeping', but my Google searches haven't shown this to be particularly common -- and of course it's confused with crying.

    The fluid is transparent, yellow in tint, and usually seeps out rather slowly -- enough so that it often crystalizes into small (~1mm) cubes. Sometimes more comes and it forms droplets on the skin.

    This is a reasonably common occurrence but for some reason I can't think of a term for either the process or the fluid itself.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2010 #2
    Re: Terminology: "weep" (of a wound)

    I always called it weeping too. Not sure but I thought it was lymphatic fluid. Some call it blood serum too.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  4. Jul 29, 2010 #3
    Re: Terminology: "weep" (of a wound)

    "Weeping" is a perfectly good term for exudates (or exudation) from skin lesions. Exudates are associated with inflammation and result from leakage from capillaries in the affected area. They can be clear to slightly yellowish (serous), slightly reddish (sero-sanguineous) and range from watery to sticky depending on protein content. With bacterial infection, they can turn pussy and foul smelling, but otherwise they are physiologic responses to skin and soft tissue injury.
  5. Jul 30, 2010 #4
    Re: Terminology: "weep" (of a wound)

    The element of this description that is key is the rate of "weeping", compared to some slight exudate around a wound, or freely flowing pus. In many ways, it's similar to the formation of the pellicle when you salt fish for smoking, but with a better end for the wound than the fillet of salmon.
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