Chronic wounds affect millions of Americans, and they’re a problem that’s only getting worse, according to a National Institutes of Health report. Wounds that are slow to heal or not healing at all can have severe complications.
In Dallas and McKinney, Texas, Dr. Michael Sutker and our compassionate staff help patients dealing with wounds that aren’t healing properly. We have years of surgical experience and stay in step with the latest techniques to provide superior medical care, including wound care.
Wounds are the result of damage to your skin — cuts, scrapes, burns, and punctures. Normally, wounds heal in stages and smaller wounds heal faster.
When you suffer a wound, blood should clot within minutes and a scab should form to protect the wound from bacteria and allow the skin underneath to heal.
The time frame for your tissue to completely repair itself depends on the severity of the injury. The process may take a few days or a few weeks.
Reasons your wounds, or ulcers, may not heal properly include:
Chronic wounds are a common risk for people with diabetes, which is often accompanied by poor blood flow and a higher risk of infection. Foot ulcers are common among diabetics. An ulcer that’s severe enough can lead to amputation.
Diabetic ulcers can be controlled by regular wound cleaning and dressing, reducing pressure, using topical creams, and controlling blood sugar.
Fluid accumulation in the skin can cause excessive swelling and prevent oxygen from reaching the area of the wound, limiting the body’s ability to heal. With leg ulcers, for example, the skin around the wound can harden and become discolored.
Compression therapy and vascular intervention may help.
Continued damage to tissue can create problems for blood flow and healing, which can cause pressure ulcers over time. This may be a higher risk for paraplegics, or spinal surgery patients who are sedentary for extended periods of time.
Continuous movement and repositioning can help relieve injured areas experiencing chronic trauma.
Your skin is your body’s defense against many problems, including infections. When you get a wound and bacteria gets in, the resulting infection can make healing harder and lead to more severe complications if not treated. Antibiotics can help.
A sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and obesity can hinder blood circulation in your body by slowing the process of red blood cells reaching your injury to aid in healing. Getting moving and forming an exercise plan are important to improve your blood circulation.
Treatment depends on what’s causing your wounds to heal slowly, but it’s important to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
Wounds should be cleaned and dressed regularly to avoid infection or other issues, and you shouldn’t wait to contact us if you notice discoloration on or around the wound. Dr. Sutker provides comprehensive wound care services.
If you have a wound that’s not healing properly, call the office of Michael Sutker, MD, nearest you or book your appointment online today.