Wounds are an unavoidable part of life. It’s easy to assume your injuries will heal and disappear on their own, but as many as 4.5 million Americans find themselves dealing with chronic wounds that never improve.
Chronic and acute wounds are both injuries on the body, but their healing times set them apart. In general, any wound that remains longer than 30 days without improvement is chronic, while any wound that improves or heals in less than 30 days is acute.
Chronic wounds occur in many forms, areas, and sizes, but the following types of chronic wounds are most common. R3 Wound Care and Hyperbaric’s wound care specialists are experts who use advanced treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, to help heal these wounds effectively and efficiently. We do this in outpatient clinics to ensure patients can access the clinics easily and comfortably.
Since diabetes interrupts the body’s natural healing process, it’s common for people with diabetes to develop extreme ulcers on their lower extremities, especially on the feet. Diabetic foot ulcers begin as common cuts, blisters, and scrapes, but they gradually deteriorate into deep wounds with severe infection.
The lives of many cancer patients have been saved by radiation treatment, but the tumor-killing radiation can also damage healthy tissue. When blood vessels are damaged, restricted bloodflow can lead to wounds in soft tissue and bone. These injuries can occur months or even years after the radiation treatments were completed.
Surgery can save your life, but unfortunately surgical incisions are vulnerable to bacteria and infection. If your surgical wound fails to undergo the normal healing process, a chronic wound may develop.
Any type of severe trauma or injury to the body, such as an aggressive burn, has the potential to result in damage that can’t be reversed using the body’s natural healing functions. This occurs because major trauma causes prolonged and excessive inflammation, continuous infections, and even drug-resistant bacteria that cripple the normally healthy reparative response of cells and tissues.
Arterial ulcers are chronic wounds that can be easily recognized by their round shape. They’re caused by poor circulation through the legs and feet. If you experience pain in the legs after exercising or when your legs are elevated, it could signal an arterial ulcer.
If left untreated, a chronic wound can lead to gangrene, infection, or even an amputation.
If you have a wound that you are concerned about that doesn’t seem to be healing correctly, please make an appointment for an evaluation with one of our accredited wound care team of specialists.
To find out if specialized wound care would benefit you, please schedule an evaluation with one of our expert wound care medical staff.