Wounds vs Ulcers

What is the difference between wounds and ulcers?

Both can be painful and require medical treatment. However, there are important differences such as their cause, the speed at which they form, and the proper way to treat them. This article will discuss how and why to distinguish between wounds and ulcers.
hydrocolloid wound care

Wound vs Ulcers: What’s the Difference?

  • What Causes Wounds Versus Ulcers?
      • Both wounds and ulcers represent a disturbance to the skin. The major difference is where the problem arrives. Wounds come about from external force (a physical injury like cutting oneself,) whereas ulcers develop from internal disturbances (such as disease). Patients may suffer from ulcers in many areas, including the mouth and inside the stomach, making them harder to address. Interior infections from bacteria, like Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), can cause very painful stomach ulcers. Externally, ulcers can ravage the skin because of diabetes, atherosclerosis, excessive pressure on interior blood vessels, and venous insufficiency.
  • Gradual Versus Acute Onset
      • Sometimes wounds are easier to detect since a patient would know exactly when it occurred. Ulcers, on the contrary, can form gradually, sometimes undetected for a while. They literally sneak up beneath the surface. This does not mean you won’t notice an ulcer, but that onset is less obvious and acute than an external wound.
  • How Do You Dress Wounds Versus Ulcers?
      • Caretakers should approach wound and ulcer dressing somewhat differently. Most wounds require changing the dressing daily. Wounds are more likely to carry a further risk of infection from opportunistic fungi/bacteria from the outside. Ulcers, however, only require changing the dressing about once or twice each week.
      • Since, as we mentioned, ulcers stem from an internal issue, there are other home remedies that can help them heal better by addressing their root cause. Many ulcers develop from poor blood circulation and affect the feet and legs. Therefore, you can improve conditions by elevating the leg and wearing compression socks to encourage blood flow. It also helps to consume foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric and manuka honey.

Would you like to learn more about dressing wounds and ulcers, including where to find the best skin and wound care products?

Then we hope you’ll consider Sarasota Medical Products for the healthcare industry’s best hydrocolloid dressing materials. We produce first-class wound/ulcer dressings along with ostomy care supplies. Contact us anytime for product information and assistance at 941-377-1451.