If you’re generally healthy, most minor wounds heal on their own. If you get a small cut or scrape, you may not think twice. Clean it up, bandage it, and boom — it’s gone within a matter of days.
But at Vein, Heart and Vascular Institute in Florida, Hesham Fakhri, MD, and the rest of our team know that problems arise when a wound (even a minor one) doesn’t heal after several weeks, or if you sustain a major wound.
Learn why you shouldn’t ignore an open wound and when to see a doctor about a cut, scrape, burn, or sore.
Why you shouldn’t ignore an open wound
First things first: An open wound can easily become infected. If you treat an open wound before it gets infected, you’ll have a shorter overall treatment time and avoid secondary treatments (such as antibiotics for a bacterial infection.
In addition, open wounds that just won’t heal may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Wounds persist when your body can’t perform any of the three functions it takes to heal a wound:
- Initiate an immune response to send infection-fighting white blood cells to the wound
- Start the blood-clotting process in order to form a scab
- Form scar tissue to fully heal the wound
If your body can’t perform those tasks, we need to find out what’s preventing it from doing so. For example, people with severe diabetes often have open sores because of compromised immunity and poor blood flow.
When to see your doctor about a wound
You’re not alone if you don’t want to make a trip to the doctor’s office for a wound. But there are certain times when seeking medical care is necessary and your ability to fully heal is time-dependent.
Call us right away if you have a:
- Cut, sore, or scrape that hasn’t healed after several weeks
- Wound that keeps partially healing and then reopening
- Cut or scrape that won’t stop bleeding
- Sore that won’t stop oozing liquid (of any color)
- Deep laceration or abrasion
- Deep wound that limits the function of the affected body part (e.g., you can’t use your hand)
Don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable or you lose function in some way. The earlier you seek care, the better you’ll heal. If you’re suffering from an emergency due to a wound, such as excessive blood loss, seek emergency medical care immediately.
If you have a persistent wound, call us for an appointment at our office in Tampa or Wesley Chapel, Florida. You can also request an appointment by using our online tool.