Chronic Wound Assessment and Management: Important Terms to Know

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by the WoundSource Editors

Chronic wound: Any wound failing to heal in 90 days.

Periwound: The periwound is the tissue surrounding the wound itself, limiting to 4cm. This tissue provides a barrier to the wound.

Undermining: Presents as a space between intact skin and the wound bed, resulting from shearing forces and sustained pressure.

Tunneling: A narrow opening or passageway underneath the skin that can extend in any direction through soft tissue and results in dead space with potential for abscess formation.

Hyperkeratosis: Thickening of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis), often associated with the presence of an abnormal quantity of keratin, and also usually accompanied by an increase in the granular layer.

Biofilm: A biofilm comprises any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other and often also to a surface. These adherent cells become embedded within a slimy extracellular matrix that is composed of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).

Dehiscence: Wound dehiscence is a surgical complication in which a wound ruptures along a surgical incision.

Atypical wound: Atypical wounds, also known as wounds of unknown etiology, are wounds caused by conditions or diseases that don't typically form a wound, such as inflammations, infections, malignancies, chronic illnesses or genetic disorders.

Devitalized tissue: Tissue that is transitioning from viable to devitalized tissue is called slough. Tissue that is completely non-viable is called necrotic tissue.

Epibole: Refers to rolled or curled-under closed wound edges that may be dry, callused, or hyperkeratotic.

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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