Chronic Wounds – The Ultimate Guide

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Chronic wounds are not something you want to deal with as they are very hard to treat and heal.  We understand your concern and offer you the Chronic Wounds ultimate facts guide.  We cover what they are, the forms the come in and how to treat and heal them.

What are Chronic Wounds?

Depending on the size of a wound, it takes some time to heal, but a chronic wound is an open sore or another type of wound that has not healed within a 90 day period. These are wounds that are stuck in a particular phase of healing, usually the inflammatory phase, for too long a time.

foot ulcerWhy Are Chronic Wounds Bad?

Besides the discomfort that they can cause, as well as the embarrassment, a chronic wound is more vulnerable to infections that can be fairly serious and dangerous. A chronic wound can also potentially be a sign of cancer though that is not that common.

What is an Ulcer?

An ulcer is just another way to refer to an open wound on the surface of the skin that has not healed. Ulcers are usually caused by a break in the skin or due to a mucous membrane that has not healed. Ulcers most commonly occur in the digestive track of a person’s stomach, but can also occur on the legs and feet.

Chronic wounds are open sores that do not heal within a 90 day period.

How Long Does it Take Ulcers to Form? How Long Will it Take to Heal?

Because ulcers are caused by venous or arterial disease, it is safe to say that it takes a great amount of time for the ulcers to actually form. So, do not be alarmed if it takes time for the ulcers to fully heal. But, you should consult with your doctor to ensure you do not need any antibiotics as an infection could slow down healing even more.

What is Venous Disease?

Chronic Venous disease, or CVD, is a condition that refers to veins that have become diseased or abnormal in some way.  Usually, this means that it has led to the formation of either spider or varicose veins, but it can also lead to venous ulcers.
Healthy veins and legs

Diseased legs and veins

What is Arterial Disease?

Arterial disease is commonly known as Peripheral Vascular Disease, or PVD, and occurs when there is a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which blocks the flow of blood. With the lack of proper blood flow, there is an increased chance of ulcers forming.

Still Have Questions on Chronic Wounds? Our specialists are ready to help answer any and all questions.

What Types of Ulcers Occur in the Legs and Ankles?

There are two types of ulcers that can occur on a person’s legs or ankles. These include venous ulcers and arterial ulcers, or ischemic ulcers. Both relate back to improper blood flow, which can make it difficult for wounds to properly heal.

How Do Venous Ulcers Occur?

Venous ulcers are the most common form of leg ulcer, accounting for more than half the cases and are concerned specifically with blood flow in the veins. All veins contain valves that allow for blood flow to continue straight to the heart, but sometimes the valves fail to work properly. When this happens, blood flow is cut off and it just pools inside the vein, causing pressure to begin building up. As more and more pressure is created, tissues in the body can be destroyed, leading to ulcers forming.

blood circulation

How Do Arterial Ulcers Occur?

Arterial ulcers are also called ischemic ulcers. These types of ulcers occur when the arteries in a person’s body do not deliver the necessary amount of blood to the lower extremities, including the legs, ankles, and feet. As a result of the lack of blood flow, the tissues in the lower extremities get deprived of oxygen and can begin to break down, resulting in an open wound. But, arterial ulcers can also develop due to scrapes and cuts that are prevented from healing due to the lack of blood flow.

Arterial ulcers occur b/c the body does not deliver the necessary amount of blood to the lower body extremities, like the legs, feet, and ankles.

Where Do Arterial Ulcers Develop?

Arterial ulcers can develop most commonly in areas of the feet where shoes are likely to put pressure. This may be between the toes, on ankles, or any other area your shoes may rub against the skin.

How Do you Treat Venous Ulcers?

The best way to treat a venous ulcer is to ensure the wound causing it completely heals, and no infection is left behind. This can be done by working to improve the circulation of blood in the legs, which is considered the most effective method to heal an ulcer. Not only will this allow an existing ulcer to fully heal, but it will help to ensure that they do not form again in the future.

How Do You Treat Arterial Ulcers?

Like venous ulcers, the main treatment for arterial ulcers is to improve blood circulation, which can be done a number of ways. In some cases, however, it may be more difficult to treat arterial ulcers naturally, and you may be required to have minor surgery.

What Are Some Things to Increase Blood Circulation Naturally?

Elevating your legs is one of the simplest ways of getting blood to circulate more through your legs, as it will stop it from pooling. But, you can also use tight compression socks that can also make a major difference. You should also ensure that you do not spend extended periods of time sitting still or standing without moving. Meaning, exercising regularly will improve your body’s overall circulation.

What Are the Surgical Methods Used to Treat Circulation?

There are a number of minimally invasive surgical treatments that can be used to improve blood circulation. In many cases, these procedures work by cutting off blood flow entirely in the damaged artery so that it can eventually be reabsorbed by the surrounding tissue, and allowing blood flow to continue in the healthy veins.

At USA Vein Clinics, we have your best interest at heart.  We understand that not every treatment solution is right for you.  We welcome you in for a full, personally tailored consultation and treatment plan.  If you are experiencing chronic wounds, this is a serious condition that needs to be looked at by a specialist.  Contact us today.

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