Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect you have a chronic wound or a developing ulcer, seek medical care immediately, particularly if you have any of the following conditions:
- Arterial disease
- Chronic edema (swelling) of the lower extremities
- A family history of collagen vascular disease, such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis
In addition, a slow-healing wound may indicate an infection or other significant problem that is affecting the whole body.
Treatment for chronic wounds take time. The goals of treatment are usually to:
- Keep the wound infection-free
- Absorb any excess discharge
- Keep the wound clear of dead tissue, usually through debridement (removal of tissue)
- Maintain a moist wound environment
- Supply compression to control the edema (swelling) in the case of venous stasis ulcers
- Manage pain
- Offload pressure from the affected area (for diabetic foot and pressure ulcers)
- Promote more activity to increase circulation
- Manage the person’s medical issues
Your doctor will prescribe the course of therapy that is best for your type of wound.
Other steps you can take to promote healing include:
- Ensuring you eat an adequate, well-balanced diet
- Losing weight if necessary
- Stopping smoking (smoking impairs circulation)
*All information on medical treatments on this site is provided as an overview only. For a complete and up-to-date list of side effects, warnings and precautions, read the product’s package insert and consult your doctor or a pharmacist.
**If you are considering an alternative or complementary therapy, discuss it with your doctor first, and always be sure to keep your doctor up to date about any vitamins, supplements, or other forms of alternative treatment you are taking. Like any medication, alternative therapies can interact with other medications/treatments and, in some cases, have side effects of their own. Remember that “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe.”