The human body is wonderfully designed to heal itself. Modern science has provided medicine, antiseptics and ointments to help encourage the healing process and reduce chance of infection. However, what happens when a wound becomes chronic, and the body needs assistance in chronic wound healing?
An Introduction to Chronic Wound Care
When the wound healing cycle is disrupted and fails to progress through the phases until completion, the wound may become chronic. There are several factors that add to the chronicity of a wound. These include trauma to the wound, an increase in exposure to bacteria, an increase in proteases (the enzyme which breaks down proteins and peptides), deviant cells, and underlying conditions that inhibit successful healing. Patients who struggle with obesity, diabetes, and venous-related issues are also more at risk of developing a chronic wound.
Acute Wounds vs. Chronic Wounds
Acute wounds are those within the first phase of healing, and can progress to become chronic if it doesn’t heal within the expected time.
Examples of acute wounds include:
- Abrasions or shallow wounds caused by friction.
- Laceration wounds which are deeper than abrasions, often the result of blunt trauma.
- Puncture wounds as a result of penetration.
- Incision wounds which result from sharp objects.
- Gunshot wounds caused by firearms.
- Burn wounds.
When these wounds are complicated by infections, inflammation, loss of function, progression and scarring, the wounds can become chronic.
How to Best Care for Chronic Wounds
There are many ways to best approach chronic non-healing wounds. An experienced and qualified provider will be able to provide the best advice on which treatment to undertake. Some of these advanced and personalized treatments include:
Debridement refers to the medical removal of tissue that is dead, damaged or infected. This is done to improve the healing potential of the healthy tissue that remains.
Total Contact Casting (TCC)
TCC is a treatment used to alleviate weight placed on diabetic foot ulcers. This is done by designing a special cast for the foot in order to reduce pressure on the wound.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy delivers pure oxygen, in a pressurized chamber, with the purpose of increasing the level of oxygen in the blood. HBOT boosts the body’s ability to heal on a cellular level.
Bioengineered Skin Substitutes
Bioengineered skin substitutes may be an option for wound management. They were created as an alternative to skin grafts (and the issues that can arise from skin grafts). Bioengineered skin substitutes contain live human-cell incorporated with proteins and growth factors needed to grow and multiply in the affected tissue.
This therapy is used to increase blood flow activity in the lower areas of the body. The specially designed stockings are effective in strengthening vein support, and a fairly simple approach to wound care.
Most often applied to body surfaces, topical medication is applied to the wound and can be in the form of creams, foams, gels, lotions, and ointments.
A nutritional consultation assesses a patient’s lifestyle, eating habits, medical history and other aspects of an individual’s health in order to prescribe the best vitamin and mineral supplements for the improvement of health.
There are a number of ways to regenerate your health, and begin the healing process of a chronic wound. An advanced clinical assessment by experienced professionals will be able to best guide the journey to healing.