General Advice For Wound Patients
A wound is a discontinuity on the surface of the skin. While most wounds are caused by some kind of trauma, others can occur due to possible chronic underlying conditions. Examples of such wounds are diabetic wounds and venous wounds etc. Chronic and untreated conditions can cause these wounds; therefore, treating them is difficult without controlling the etiological factors and taking special care.
Wounds are a commonly experienced, painful, and debilitating condition. Untreated wounds can increase in size and can even require amputation. This is why such wounds should be taken seriously and proper treatment should be undertaken before potential complications.
There are special care instructions that should be followed when treating wounds. The following are the important steps.
Keep Your Follow Up Visits
Getting your wound examined on time may not be sufficient. Depending on the severity of the wound, it may be important to make weekly visits to your doctor. It will ensure the best care and the fastest healing. Random visits or no visits at all can be harmful. They not only prolong the healing time but can also lead to complications.
This is a very important step because it ensures that your wound is sterile and does not become infected. Also, foreign bodies in your wound can interfere with the healing process. This is why proper cleaning is mandatory.
The wound is normally cleaned with normal saline. However, you can ask your wound specialist doctor if you can use shower, bath, use soap or not.
Changing Wound Dressing
The frequency of changing wound dressing is also decided by your wound specialist doctor. Your doctor also chooses the appropriate dressing for the wound based on the presence of drainage or not.
Usually, the aim is to keep the wound moisturized. However, this moisture should not be excessive because it may damage the surrounding skin. Dry wounds delay healing, so maintaining a proper level of moisture is important.
Edema leads to delay in wound healing because it causes accumulation of fluid in the tissue. There are various steps and instructions that should be followed in order to control edema.
* Avoid prolonged standing in one place because it leads to dependent edema
* Elevate legs when sitting and take them above the level of heart when in bed.
* Use knee-high gradient compression stockings with 20-30 mmHg pressure or compression wraps. They should be used only during the day and removed at night.
* Use Una boot with zinc from toe to knee.
* You can also use compression pumps. Use them 90 minutes twice per day, or 60 minutes three times a day.
Following are a few other care instructions
* Increase protein intake and eat a balanced diet to encourage wound healing. Dietary deficiency of zinc and vitamin C etc. can delay wound healing.
* Apply moisturizing lotion to the skin surrounding the wound.
* Exercise and increase your physical activity as recommended by your doctor or cardiologist.
* Lose excess pounds because being overweight can lead to edema.
* Stop smoking. It causes various health issues.
* Take a multivitamin daily to make sure you are fulfilling requirements of your body.
Muzammal Habib, MD
Vascular Medicine and vein specialist
Dr. Habib has been practicing vein care and vascular More about this author »