Normally when you cut yourself, your body begins to act immediately, clotting your blood and working to heal the wound. Sometimes, though, certain factors cause your body’s response to be delayed. This can cause chronic wounds that don’t ever seem to get better.
Luckily, our team at the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute can help. Leading our team are Dr. Hesham Fakhri and Dr. Abdulghani Saadi, both of whom are experts in vascular care. If you’re dealing with a wound that just won’t heal, we have the resources to help.
Signs of delayed wound healing
When you have some type of wound, you should notice it getting better within a few days to a week. The timeline depends on where the wound is located and the severity of the injury.
For instance, a small cut on your finger should heal relatively quickly, while a large gash in your leg will likely take a little longer. But you should see noticeable improvement within a week following the wound.
In some cases, though, you may notice that the wound just doesn’t seem to be getting better. In fact, it may look like it’s getting worse. Signs of a problem with your wound healing include:
- Purulent drainage from the wound
- Warmth and redness that spreads
- Increased pain around the site
- Foul smell from the wound
- Skin darkening around the edge
You should also trust your gut when assessing a wound that isn’t getting better. You know your body better than anyone, and if it seems as though you just aren’t healing, make an appointment to see one of our team members as soon as possible.
What causes slow-healing wounds?
There are a number of factors that play a role in your body’s ability to repair damaged tissues. Your age, overall health, and nutrition all affect your wound care. Other issues that may cause a wound to heal slower than usual include:
When you don’t have good blood flow into your legs or arms, it makes it harder for your body to heal a wound. If you have diabetes, this is a common problem, especially in your lower legs and feet.
Infection causes inflammation, making it harder for your body to heal. If you have diabetes, your risk of infection increases, causing issues with wound reconstruction.
Protein is a necessary part of the wound healing process. There’s only so much that wound treatment can do, if the building blocks aren’t in place in your body.
Nutrition is one of the major overlooked reasons for delayed wound healing. When you have an open wound, your body needs sufficient protein from your diet, as well as other nutrients and vitamins. This ensures that your body is healthy enough to heal the injury.
Edema is when fluid accumulates under your skin, usually in your legs and feet. It’s often due to an issue with your veins, known as venous insufficiency. With edema, the wound healing is delayed, because the necessary nutrients and blood flow have trouble reaching the area.
Continuous trauma to the area of the wound also slows the recovery process. This is especially an issue for people with neuropathy, who can’t feel the wound and keep re-injurying it.
What to do if your wound isn’t healing
If you have a wound that’s not getting better, make an appointment with us at Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute. We evaluate the wound to determine the best route of treatment.
We generally start by making sure your wound is cleaned regularly and the dressings changed frequently to reduce the risk of infection.
If the wound still doesn’t get better, we may recommend debriding the wound. During this procedure, we remove areas of dead skin, reducing inflammation and allowing new tissue to form.
We also explain how nutrition can help your wound heal properly. Getting plenty of sleep and cutting back on alcohol also helps with your body’s healing abilities.
There’s not one specific answer for everyone when it comes to healing a chronic wound. Dr. Fakhri and Dr. Saadi assess your wound and your overall health to figure out a personalized approach to getting your wound under control.
Don’t let a wound continue to get worse. Call one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, today. You can also schedule an appointment using our convenient online tool.