There are several connected causes for non-healing wounds.
According to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic wounds–injuries that have yet to heal after six weeks–affect some 5.7 American adults. There are many reasons for these non-healing wounds, and understanding each cause is vital to implementing the most effective wound care regimen possible.
Here are three of the more frequent explanations for why many wounds just won’t heal:
- Poor circulation
As Johns Hopkins Medical School pointed out, blood is perhaps the most important component of the entire wound healing process. When an injury occurs, it’s the blood that transports cells to the wound site, which begin rebuilding veins and other important tissue structures. When you have poor circulation, blood cannot move around as quickly, and as a result, wounds take much longer to begin healing. According to Healthline, there are several medical conditions that cause poor circulation, including varicose veins, obesity and chronic ailments like diabetes, peripheral artery disease and Raynaud’s disease. Fortunately, there are just as many ways to improve circulation, like frequent exercise and elevating wounds or limbs in general.
- Fluid buildup
According to the Mayo Clinic, edema occurs when fluid leaks from blood vessels, causing these secretions to accumulate in nearby tissue. The result is a large bump or nodule that is painful and sometimes prone to infection. Edema is usually the result of a number of medications, including several drug therapies geared toward diabetes. Edema can also occur due to a reaction to steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs and even estrogen supplements. Other than being uncomfortable, edema can wreak havoc on the wound-healing process. Due to fluid buildup, the blood vessels and tissue become rigid and immovable, greatly restricting blood flow. This compression cycle can also kill skin patches, which could lead to ulcers.
As a rule, infections can be quite traumatic to the host. Perhaps the biggest effect–one that might surprise some people–is that infections can all but halt the wound healing process. According to St. Luke’s Clinic, an average infection has a number of methods for preventing healthy tissue regeneration. For instance, some infections can extend the length of the inflammatory phase, and that can halt the subsequent stages of wound healing. Additionally, there are strains that can interfere with clotting mechanisms, which in turn causes wounds to continue bleeding. According to a 2010 study from the Journal of Dental Research, the two most damaging strains of bacteria are pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococcus.
When it comes to handling chronic wounds, patients need advanced wound care products to prevent infection and create a sustainable healing environment; that’s why so many patients turn to Advanced Tissue when they experience most chronic wounds. As the nation’s leader in the delivery of specialized wound care supplies, Advanced Tissue ships supplies to individuals at home and in long-term care facilities.