Are you, your parent, or your loved one part of the estimated 5.7 million Americans currently suffering from a non-healing wound? If so, this article—and month—is for you. June is Wound Healing Awareness Month, when we recognize the daily challenges chronic wounds present to those who suffer from them.
What are Chronic Wounds?
Chronic, or non-healing, wounds are wounds that don’t improve or completely heal after 8 weeks of treatment. Chronic wounds can develop in a few different ways. Some of the most common causes are pressure ulcers and diabetes. These conditions can also complicate wound healing, slowing down the process. Many times non-healing diabetic wounds on the feet or legs will get so bad that it becomes necessary to amputate the limb.
Fortunately for those in the Essex-Hudson-Union County area, Park Crescent‘s specialty wound care program has remarkable outcomes in treating non-healing wounds. At Park Crescent, we use advanced treatment methods that work. Our success stories include treatment of chronic diabetic ulcers, amputation infections, severe burns, and advanced stage open wounds.
Factors that Complicate Wound Healing
Here are some things that cause your wound to heal poorly or not at all:
- Age. Everything changes and slows as we age, including the stages of wound healing. Plus, our skin thins out with age and becomes more susceptible to injury—making the healing process slower as well. Since you can’t make yourself younger, it’s important to take control of the factors you can change to promote healing.
- Poor Nutrition. If your body lacks the right nutrients, it won’t be able to repair and regrow its skin cells. High-protein foods, such as beans, nuts, eggs, chicken, and milk, are some of the best foods you can eat for optimal healing.
- Dehydration. Not drinking enough can also slow down your body’s ability to heal wounds. Make sure to stay well-hydrated to keep your blood circulating. Drink mainly water, and avoid sweetened beverages. Other drinks, such as milk, 100 percent fruit juice, or unsweetened tea are fine in moderation.
- Uncontrolled blood sugar. If you have diabetes, get your blood sugar levels under control. This will help prevent future wounds, and help speed up healing of your current wounds. Speak with your doctor and dietitian to develop your blood sugar management plan.
- Obesity. Being extremely overweight puts you at greater risk of infection from a chronic wound. Obesity can also cause problems if you’re not mobile; it puts more pressure on certain areas when you can’t move around. If you’re bed-confined for a long time—whether or not you’re overweight—you need to be moved regularly to prevent new pressure sores.
- Certain Medication. Prescription drugs can negatively affect your wound’s healing. For example, blood thinners can interfere with the clotting process. Keep in mind, though, if you’re on a specific medication, it’s because the benefits it offers outweighs the possible disruption to your wound healing.
How to Prevent Chronic Wounds
It’s not always easy to prevent wounds from developing, especially if you have diabetes. But prevention is the first line of defense against chronic wounds. If you have diabetes, you may not always feel an injury on your feet. Check your feet and legs daily for new wounds, so you can treat them before they develop into serious ulcers. If you’re not mobile, make sure to change positions regularly—with help, if necessary—so you don’t put too much pressure on one area. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and drink a lot. Try to get your weight under control, and exercise regularly to keep your blood flowing.
To learn more about Park Crescent’s state-of-the-art wound care program, contact us at here.