Usually, wounds heal within four weeks. However, other times it may take longer than this usual period. Often, slow-healing or non-healing wounds result from underlying health problems that could have gone unnoticed or untreated. If your wound takes longer than expected to heal, Bakersfield wound care may help prevent serious complications. There are different reasons why wounds take longer to heal, and some of these causes can be operating simultaneously. These reasons include:
An infection develops when bacteria, viruses, or fungus invade a wound site. Usually, the invaders are overtaken by millions of white blood cells that the body produces every day. However, some infections are difficult to resolve, mainly when the infection originates around a bone. In such cases, the infection has nowhere to go and invades the skin, resulting in a sore or a lesion. Diagnosing the type of bacteria is key to eliminating the inflection through treatments such as IV antibiotics administration and wound care. Sometimes specialists recommend surgical excision, especially if you have an abscess or a cyst. After infection eradication, your body resumes its natural wound healing process.
Poor blood circulation
Blood circulation promotes wound healing since it facilitates the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the affected site for tissue renewal. When this is compromised, the wound may not heal within the usual period. The two common issues that compromise blood flow to a wound site include arterial insufficiency and venous insufficiency. Arterial insufficiency commonly occurs when plaque deposits inside the arteries, impeding blood flow. Patients with this problem may benefit from artery bypass or angioplasty, which opens the obstructed artery.
Blood flows back to the veins instead of flowing to the heart for venous insufficiency. Usually, this occurs when the valves are weak or damaged. Venous insufficiency may result in slow-healing wounds, swollen legs, and muscle cramps. Most of the time, you only need compression stockings and other remedies such as exercise to resolve this problem. However, extreme cases of venous insufficiency may require procedures such as vein ablation.
When wound bumps or rubs on a surface repetitively, healing may take longer than usual or stop altogether. Repetitive trauma to the wound can occur in paraplegic patients who cannot feel their feet when they bump into a wheelchair, for example. Remaining in one position for an extended period can also cause pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injuries. It is essential to reposition patients whose conditions predispose them to repetitive trauma.
Edema mainly affects your lower extremities when fluid and usually occurs when fluid accumulates in the body’s dermis, skin, or fatty tissues. The fluid buildup is primarily due to venous insufficiency and puts you at risk of developing leg ulcers. When you develop sores, edema inhibits wound healing by impeding the flow of oxygen and nutrients to and from the area. Similar to poor circulation, compression therapy may help redirect the fluids back to the circulatory system. The wound can begin healing properly once the edema resolves
If it has been more than four weeks and your wound is yet to heal, reserve a session with your doctor at Heart Vascular and Leg Center.