All wounds must be taken seriously to allow for proper healing and minimizing the possibility of infections. Here are some tips to use when treating wounds on the body.
There are multiple stages to wound healing that should be considered when treating them:
Hemostasis — This is the first stage when the body reacts to a wound to stop bleeding. Blood vessels at the wound site constrict to reduce blood loss and platelets accumulate to start the clotting process.
Inflammatory — This stage is when the body starts fighting potential infections by increasing blood flow and sending white blood cells to remove any bacteria. This stage can be seen by redness and warmth at the wound due to the increased blood supply.
Proliferation — This is the stage when healing begins. New blood vessels form at the site and collagen both bind the wound and begin to draw it shut as new skin forms. This is the stage when a scab forms.
Maturation — The final stage can last for some time as the body continues to grow new tissue and refine the wound. Serious wounds can continue to heal for years in some cases.
Several factors can slow or even inhibit proper wound healing. These factors should always be considered and minimized to prevent complications.
- Dead skin cells restrict the growth of new skin, therefore keeping the wound clean is important
- Infections cause the body to concentrate on their elimination and will therefore slow or stop wound healing
- Nutrition is critical to keep the skin healthy since it is the largest organ in the body
- Being immobile can slow wound healing and lead to pressure sores that can impact the health of the patient
- Medical conditions and medications can affect proper healing
- The age of the patient is important since healing slows as we age
- Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and will slow wound healing
- Dryness is an important issue because a dry wound will heal more slowly and infections can occur from wounds left open to the air
For all these reasons, treat all wounds as serious to avoid complications:
- Wash your hands carefully before treating any wound
- Keep the wound clean at all times and remove any dead skin and debris as it forms
- Keep the wound dressing on at all times until healing reaches maturation
- Stay hydrated and eat a nutritious diet at all times
Sarasota Medical Products produces a variety of gel-forming wound dressings that create an optimum environment for proper wound healing. We also have a line of ostomy products for the care and comfort of our clients. For more information please call Sarasota Medical Products at 941-377-1451.