If you have a wound, whether from an accident or a surgical incision, you must take proper care of it for your own well-being. Proper care of your wound helps not only keep the scarring to a minimum, but also prevents dangerous infections.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, we get you the help you need to tend to your wounds. Our vascular care specialist, Dr. Hesham Fakhri, has extensive experience dealing with wound healing, especially if one of your wounds isn’t healing correctly.
Types of wounds
A wound is an injury that occurs somewhere on your body, due to either damage from an injury or from a surgical repair. Wounds can be classified in a number of different ways, including where they are located and how many layers of tissue are penetrated.
A few of the most common types of wounds include:
Open wounds are those that have exposed underlying organs or tissues, below the surface of your skin. These wounds are often considered contaminated, because they might have debris or dirt in them. This is especially true of wounds sustained in a car accident or a fall.
Penetrating wounds are often considered open. They include stab wounds and cuts. Non-penetrating wounds include bruises and abrasions.
No matter what type of wound you have, you need to understand how to care for it, especially an open or contaminated wound. These wounds, if not treated properly, can lead to very dangerous complications.
Complications of untreated wounds
When you have a small open wound, you might not think anything of it. It’ll probably heal on its own, right? Not necessarily.
No matter how small, untreated wounds can lead to a number of problems, the most likely being an infection. When bacteria gets in the wound, it makes a home there and multiplies. If you’re not careful, a small infection can turn into a widespread problem.
Signs of an infection in your wound include:
- Increased drainage
- Foul smell
- Green or yellow pus
- Redness or swelling
We can treat small infections with antibiotics, but if the infection spreads, it could lead to a condition called sepsis. This occurs when the infection becomes widespread and enters your bloodstream. This condition is very serious and may require hospitalization.
Other problems related to wounds that aren’t treated include:
- Necrotizing fasciitis
With proper wound care, you can avoid nearly all of these complications.
Understanding proper wound care
The first step to proper wound care is cleaning the wound initially and keeping it clean and dry. This decreases the amount of bacteria and allows the wound to heal naturally.
If there’s swelling present, you may need to put ice on the area to calm the inflammation. This is especially true for surgical wounds, as inflammation is worse the first day or two after surgery.
Depending on your specific type of wound, follow Dr. Fakhri’s instructions on dressing changes. If he wants you to keep the wound covered, make sure you do so.
Nutrition also plays into your body’s ability to heal itself. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and don’t smoke or drink excessive alcohol while your wound is healing. Both alcohol and tobacco can impede your body’s ability to heal properly.
Don’t let your wound get out of control. Contact one of our conveniently located offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, to make an appointment with Dr. Fakhri today.