What is Wound Healing?
Wound healing is the process of repairing and replacing damaged tissue with newly produced tissue. It goes through 4 different stages; hemostasis, clotting, proliferation, and maturation.
A wound heals depending on how big and deep the cut is. It may take several weeks or months for a wound to completely heal. But certain medical conditions and factors slow down the healing process or worst stops the healing process.
A wound that failed to follow the normal healing process within the 4 weeks before is considered a chronic wound. Chronic wounds are often associated with diabetes, age, lifestyle, or venous stasis disease.
A wound that shows abnormal signs of healing needs to be treated checked and treated by a wound care specialist to prevent health complications. If you see or notice any of these signs, you must see your health care provider immediately.
What to look for
- Discomfort and pain are normal during the wound healing stage, but if pain increases over time, then most likely what you have is a chronic wound. Feeling some level of discomfort even after taking painkillers is a sign that your wound is not healing.
- It is expected for wounds to emit certain odors during the healing process. However, if it is accompanied by foul smell possibly because of tissue degradation, your wound might need the expertise of a wound care specialist. If your foul-smelling wound is accompanied by discomfort and pain, then most likely you are experiencing abnormal healing.
Redness and Swelling
- These are normal and expected at the wound site but should gradually diminish. If these signs continue to exhibit, you could have an infected wound.
- A thick and yellowish wound discharge is indicative of abnormal wound healing. Non-healing wounds show swelling and drainage like pus. Swelling, pain, and thick discharge from the wound are indications of abnormal healing.
Darkening of the skin around the wound
- A wound that has black skin around the edges means it is infected and needs to be removed to prevent a greater risk of infections.
When to see a doctor
See a doctor right away if you think you have a poor healing or non-healing wound. Do not wait for the signs to worsen or for the infection to spread as this can cause serious health complications.
Do not ignore poor healing wounds even if it is just a small cut especially if you have underlying health or medical condition.
Treatment and management for proper wound healing
Wound treatment is dependent on the severity of the wound. Your healthcare provider may recommend testing, oral or topical antibiotics, and other wound care regimen to address the issue.
Patients with diabetes or other chronic diseases must let their doctor know of their condition for proper treatment and management.
For severe and extreme cases of poor wound healing, a wound care specialist will recommend compression therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and other advanced wound care techniques to help heal the infection.
Healing complications may happen, but with proper treatment and management, your wound will eventually heal.