5 Types of Wounds That Don’t Heal

5 Types of Wounds That Don’t Heal

When you have a cut, scrape, wound, or sore, your body directs healing efforts almost immediately to repair the wound. How quickly a wound heals depends on the size and depth of the cut or injury. Small wounds heal faster than large wounds.

However, some people have underlying health issues that may delay the healing process. If you have a wound that hasn’t started healing within two weeks or isn’t fully healed in six weeks, you need professional wound care

At Advanced Vascular Solutions in Sebastian, Florida, our team of vascular experts led by Dr. Hadi Shalhoub specializes in treating nonhealing wounds and the underlying conditions that cause them. Here, we describe five types of wounds that don’t heal.

1. Venous stasis ulcers

Venous stasis ulcers are wounds that fail to heal because of circulation problems. These ulcers may affect any part of your body, but they most often occur on the ankles.

These ulcers develop because of damage to the valves in your veins. Healthy, functioning valves open and close, helping push blood back to your heart. The valves also control venous pressure (pressure against the wall of the blood vessel). 

When you walk or stand, venous pressure normally drops. However, if you have valve damage, the pressure in these veins remains elevated. This pressure causes the blood vessels to widen and weaken, affecting the valves and allowing blood to leak out and pool under the skin. 

The pooled blood affects skin integrity, causing discoloration, swelling, and dryness, causing wounds known as venous stasis ulcers. Varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency may also cause venous stasis ulcers. 

2. Arterial ischemic ulcers

Arterial ischemic ulcers are nonhealing wounds that occur because of poor circulation in your arteries. Without an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to a specific area, the cells and tissue in the area die, causing these nonhealing ulcers. 

You may be at risk of developing this type of wound that won’t heal if you have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD occurs when there’s a buildup of plaque along the walls of your peripheral arteries, narrowing or blocking the flow of blood. These ulcers, along with PAD, most often affect the legs. 

3. Diabetic ulcers

Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood glucose levels. Too much glucose in your blood damages your blood vessels and nerves, and this damage affects circulation and delays wound healing. With nerve damage, you may not even realize you have an injury until it turns into a nonhealing diabetic ulcer.

Diabetic ulcers are especially troublesome because they can lead to serious infections and gangrene (tissue death) that might require a limb amputation.

If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precaution when you have a cut, whether from an injury or surgery. Diabetic ulcers most often affect the feet, which is why people with diabetes need diabetic foot care. 

4. Traumatic wounds

Traumatic wounds are unplanned injuries that damage the skin and underlying tissue. These injuries may be described as a cut, laceration, or puncture wound. When left untreated, traumatic wounds may not heal and can cause permanent damage to the underlying tissue. These wounds are also at greater risk of infection. 

5. Pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are injuries that damage the skin and underlying tissue from prolonged pressure. These sores tend to develop on areas of the body where there’s little cushion between the skin and bone, like your ankles, heels, hips, or tailbone.

People with a medical condition that limits their mobility are at greater risk of developing pressure ulcers. These types of wounds require a team of health professionals to assist in healing, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and registered dietitians.

Limiting pressure on the wound is essential. You also need treatments that encourage healing, such as removing dead tissue (debridement), keeping the wound clean, and receiving adequate nutrition. 

Get the treatment you need

Poor circulation is a common theme in wounds that don’t heal. If you have concerns about your veins or arteries, the specialists at Advanced Vascular Solutions can help. We use advanced ultrasound testing to evaluate circulation through your blood vessels and treat problematic areas when appropriate. 

We also provide expert wound care to heal your wound, like the wound vac to improve circulation to the area and skin grafts to repair the damaged tissue.

For help with your wound that won’t heal, call our office or click the “Book online” button to schedule a consultation today.

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