Chronic wounds are wounds that don’t follow the normal healing process. Typically, wounds go through four stages of healing. The first stage involves blood clotting. During the second stage, the blood coagulates and destroys the bacteria and foreign objects present in the wound. The third stage requires the body to produce new cells and tissues to cover and conceal the wound. The fourth stage, maturation, is when the body produces colla gen to repair the wound and rebuild tissue fibers. The problem with chronic wounds is that these wounds stay in the first or second stage and never progress to the fourth one.
What causes a chronic wound?
Chronic wounds are usually caused by a lack of adequate blood supply and circulation. People with diabetes and venous insufficiency are highly susceptible to chronic wounds. Diabetics tend to develop chronic wounds gradually, as cuts and scrapes take a long time to heal. Most healthcare specialists agree that a lack of proper blood circulation, especially in elderly patients, raises a patient’s risk of developing a chronic wound. Therefore, people in these population groups should take special precautions. These wounds can become infected and lead to major health issues.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. High blood glucose levels damage white blood cells, the organisms needed to kill bacteria. Diabetes also affects blood circulation which prevents the body from supplying wounds with the nutrients needed to heal. People with diabetes may also suffer from nerve damage, which significantly impacts the healing process.
2. Chronic venous insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency affects the veins’ ability to pump blood from the legs to the heart. The condition damages valves in the veins and leads to excess blood pool in the legs. This condition causes pain and swelling in the legs, leading to the growth of sores and ulcers.
There are certain strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that impede the wound-healing process. Bacteria will consume the nutrients the wound needs to heal and release waste, causing an excess buildup of fluids. If someone’s immune system is compromised, bacterial infections are likelier to occur.
Find treatment options
Chronic wounds require treatment and supervision from a healthcare provider. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) may be an effective treatment option. Speak with a physician to learn more about chronic wounds and the appropriate treatment methods.