Why Wounds Don't Heal
A chronic wound is a window to the underlying disease state of the individual experiencing the wound. The chronic wound can be a symptom of multiple contributing factors that undermine the potential for healing. A chronic wound represents an uncompensated response to a much larger problem indicating the co-morbidities of the individual's physiologic state. There are many reasons why a wound or ulcer will not heal. One of the most common reasons for wound healing failure is that the underlying cause of the wound is misdiagnosed. The etiology is not always apparent from looking at a wound. There may be other factors that have not been addressed that can either negatively impact wound healing or prevent a wound from healing normally. Such things as diabetes with uncontrolled blood sugars, venous insufficiency, infection, chronic illness causing immobility and prolonged pressure are common reasons that wound healing can be prolonged.
Some medications will delay wound healing. Medicines such as steroids and drugs used to treat cancer can delay wound healing. Poor nutrition is another reason that wounds may fail to heal. Wound tissue that is constantly stressed or damaged by walking on a wound or using chemicals such as povidine/iodine and other home remedies such as soaking a wound with vinegar or hypochlorite can actually damage tissues in the wound. Other factors that impact wound healing involve cells in the body such as white blood cells. Certain white blood cells are necessary for normal wound healing to occur. These white blood cells produce proteins and enzymes that promote wound healing and help to keep a wound clean. Local wound factors such as infection can impact the body’s ability to produce these proteins and enzymes.
Not all is understood about why certain wounds will not heal. What is known is that if a person with a wound that is failing to heal can be put into the best health possible by such things as controlling their diabetes and/or improving their diet, the wound of that person will have a better chance to heal. In addition, using wound dressings that promote an optimal cellular environment to support the normal healing process will improve the chance of healing. Active wound dressings represent a paradigm shift in our understanding of the biochemistry of wound healing and wound management. Medicinal dressings can lead to the stimulation of a healthy cellular environment in the wound thereby promoting the healing process. This provides new hope for those individuals experiencing chronic wounds.