Most of us have scars with childhood stories behind them. Skinned knees, scraped elbows, and bumped foreheads are a normal part of life. By the time you’re an adult, those childhood wounds are long healed, even if you have some puckered skin to show for them.
But what happens when you’re an adult and wounds don’t seem to heal like they used to? Maybe you scraped your leg while working in the yard or cut your hand in the kitchen. Or maybe you have a wound from a recent surgery.
Whatever the cause, that dang thing just won’t close up. What gives?
The wound-healing process requires a lot of work from your body. If you don’t support your body’s efforts, your wounds might not heal as quickly as they should. At the Vein, Heart and Vascular Institute, our board-certified physician Hesham Fakhri, MD, can help, and so can you.
Help your body out by implementing these tips next time you get a wound.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is an amazing part of the regenerative process. Without sleep, your body would never heal and recover from daily stressors, let alone an open wound.
During sleep, your body undergoes all sorts of processes that help you recover. For example, your body produces more growth hormone at night, which helps your skin cells regenerate. In simple terms, your body just has an easier time doing its thing when you sleep well.
Eat lots of micronutrients
Likewise, your body is better equipped to do its many jobs (including healing) when you provide what it needs through your diet.
Your organs and tissues require a multitude of nutrients to function optimally, and while you’ll still eventually heal on a diet of doughnuts and chips, you’ll likely heal faster on a diet of veggies and protein.
Stay active, but let your wound rest
This one is tricky. You want to move around enough to encourage ample blood circulation, but you don’t want to get so active that you reopen your wound. Ask how much physical activity you should get each day, and follow any special instructions from your medical team.
Blood circulation is a key component of wound healing, because your blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the wound site.
Change bandages often
If your wound requires you to wear bandages, change them regularly. Typically, if your wound is related to a surgery or you’ve already seen a doctor for it, you’ll have specific guidelines to follow. It’s best to change bandages when they become soaked through. Leaving a soggy bandage on a wound may hinder healing.
Watch for signs of infection
Keep a watchful eye out for any signs that your wound has developed an infection. If your wound oozes cloudy fluid, shows redness or swelling around the edges, is warm to the touch, or gives off an odor, it might be infected.
At the first sign of infection, give us a call so we can help you get the healing process back on track.
Other tips and tricks
Several other tips for helping wounds heal may be useful on a case-by-case basis:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid irritating the wound
- Wear compression garments to reduce swelling
- Apply cold packs and compresses to minimize inflammation
- Use antibacterial ointment
Do you have a persistent wound that just won’t heal? Find the best course of treatment. Schedule a consultation by calling our Tampa or Wesley Chapel, Florida, vein clinic or requesting your appointment online.