Non-healing wounds, also known as chronic wounds, often cause extensive pain and serious infections. Sometimes, hospitalization is needed for the wounds.
The healing of wounds, including the non-healing wounds, require comprehensive wound care to minimize the further development of infections and other complications.
Common Causes of Chronic Wounds
There are many causes of chronic wounds. A wound is considered chronic or non-healing when it does not properly heal after six weeks. Underlying disorders or conditions often cause non-healing wounds, necessitating additional medical care.
Some common underlying causes of the unhealing wounds include:
- Swelling (edema)
- Infection-causing bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus)
- Repeated trauma to the site of the wound
- Limited mobility
- Vascular disease (Peripheral artery disease)
Types of Chronic Wounds
Common types of chronic wounds include pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, arterial ulcers, and venous ulcers
1) Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, are injuries that occur to the skin following prolonged periods of pressure, friction, and moisture on a specific body part. Pressure ulcers typically occur on bony and prominent parts of the body like ankles, heels, shoulder blades, coccyx, and hips.
When pressure is applied to a part of the body, especially when that part is in contact with a surface like a bed or a chair for a long period of time, the blood supply to the area is limited. The lack of oxygen supplied by blood causes the cells to die and the skin breaks down.
If left untreated, pressure ulcers might reach deeper skin layers, the muscle, and the bone, making them a serious concern. The deep structures of the body would thus be exposed, leading to more complications like sepsis, or osteomyelitis (bone infection).
Pressure ulcers are common among people with limited mobility, like older adults over 70 years, or young people confined to bed with illness or injury. The occurrence of pressure ulcers requires immediate medical care.
2) Diabetic Ulcers
Patients with diabetes have a higher chance of developing nonhealing wounds. High blood sugar levels in diabetes cause blood vessels to narrow and arteries to stiffen. This results in poor blood circulation, limiting the ability of white blood cells and red blood cells to reach the wound sites. When wounds are not sufficiently supplied, they lack the essential elements required to heal.
Diabetes also causes peripheral nerve damage in the feet, ankles, and legs. This makes a person lack the sensation of pain in their lower limbs, increasing the risk of sustaining wounds. The wounds heal slowly due to the immune system problems and inflammation issues that are side effects of diabetes.
3) Arterial and Venous Ulcers
When the lower extremities are deprived of oxygen-rich blood, arterial ulcers, also called ischemic ulcers, develop. Inadequate blood flow results in death of underlying tissues, which later develops into an open wound that does not heal easily.
Venous ulcers develop following damage to a vein in the legs and ankles. Besides, chronic vein insufficiency can result in the development of venous ulcers.
Wound Care at Shot Health
The complications of chronic wounds can cause numerous health problems.
Shot Health specializes in chronic wound care, with our qualified nurses and providers available to provide wound care services at the comfort of your home.
Book your home appointment and our nurses will ensure your wound gets the best care to minimize the complications and encourage healing.