To a healthy immune system, a wound is a road bump. A cut or other break in the skin triggers a clot to stop the bleeding, white blood cells to clean the area and stimulate new tissue to grow back.
But swift healing isn’t a certainty. A wide variety of conditions can make it more difficult for our body to close wounds.
When this happens, you may need a little help. It’s called “wound care,” and it’s all about taking advantage of your body’s natural healing power.
Wounds can be more than skin deep, causing anxiety and affecting your emotional and spiritual health in other ways. Wound care isn’t about treating a wound; it’s about caring for the whole person, and that means helping you live the life you want.
In addition to keeping a wound clean and preventing infections, we use the latest technology and techniques to help you heal.
At AdventHealth, that includes state-of-the-art treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This painless procedure uses pure oxygen to help reduce infections and speed up the healing process.
People in many different situations need wound care. Here’s a look at who could benefit from this care, and what it might look like for you.
Why My Wound Isn’t Healing
Some kinds of wounds are more likely to have trouble healing. Wounds that may need extra help to heal include:
- Pressure sores (also called bedsores, an injury that can be caused by long-term pressure on a body part, including from lying on a bed without moving)
- Surgical wounds (some wounds are intentionally left open after surgery)
- Radiation sores (sometimes caused by treatment for cancer)
- Necrotic wounds (wounds with an accumulation of dead cells, tissue and cellular debris)
- Foot ulcers (caused by poor blood flow, diabetes or another cause)
Meanwhile, certain conditions can make it hard for wounds to heal. If you have one of the following, you may experience slower healing:
- Poor circulation
- Having a weak immune system
- Smoking or excessive alcohol use
Whatever the reason your wound won’t heal, a team of specialists is the best way to get you back on the right path. If you’re not sure about what comes next, don’t worry — it’s normal to have plenty of questions. But knowing what’s ahead can empower you to embrace wound care with greater confidence.
What to Expect From a Visit
The first treatment for wound care is conversation. Before a caregiver can develop a personalized plan to help you heal, they need to hear your story.
Next, we’ll examine your wound and remove dead tissue in and around it. We’ll also teach you how to take care of your wound at home.
You may need to come back to the wound center so we can see how healing is going. We’ll also identify challenges to healing and figure out how to overcome them.
By taking the healthy steps your caregiver recommends, you can give your body a better chance at healing.
Your Whole-Health Approach to Wound Healing
AdventHealth’s CREATION Life philosophy teaches that wellness isn’t just about what happens in a doctor’s office. You can take control of your wound healing by taking the following steps:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Rest according to your caregiver’s instructions.
- Take medication as recommended.
- Stop smoking.
- Attend follow-up appointments.
- Regularly inspect your wound and change dressings if necessary.
Your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment and home care plan that works best for you to promote healing.
Paying attention to your emotional and spiritual health is important, too. Repeated studies have found that high levels of stress can cause wounds to heal more slowly.
Part of staying healthy at home means learning the warning signs that something could be seriously wrong with your wound.
When to Call Your Doctor
Your caregiver will also tell you about how to spot the signs of infection. Call your wound care doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Increasing redness or warmth around the wound
- A red streak spreading from the wound
- An increase in wound drainage, including pus or cloudy fluid draining from the wound
- A foul odor or abnormal smell
- Fever, weakness, chills or increased pain
- Tenderness or swelling around the wound
- The wound gets bigger or has blisters, black or brown dead tissue
The Latest Treatments
Oxygen plays a key role in healing wounds, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy can raise the amount of oxygen in your blood. This can speed up wound healing, and it all happens during a relaxing procedure.
Peace of mind is equally important for wound healing at AdventHealth’s Institute for Advanced Wound Care Healing. We offer whole-person healing that nurtures your mind and spirit, too.