Wound Healing

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Scar management

By the WoundSource Editors

After an injury or surgery, the body responds by forming scar tissue. Scar formation is a normal part of the wound healing process, but not all scars are the same. Some scars form in only the superficial epidermal layers, whereas others encompass deeper subdermal layers, involving nerves and tendons. The process of scar formation is the result of myofibroblast cells forming new collagen fibers to repair a wound.

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By the WoundSource Editors

The venous leg ulcer (VLU) is the most common type of chronic leg wound, and it can be challenging to manage. VLUs account for up to 90% of all chronic leg ulcers. Proper diagnosis and treatment planning are key to wound healing outcomes. This fact is particularly true for older adults, who have an annual VLU prevalence of 1.7%.

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By the WoundSource Editors

The most common type of chronic lower extremity wound is the venous ulcer, affecting 1% to 3% of the U.S. population. Chronic venous ulcers significantly impact quality of life and are a financial burden for both the patient and the health care system. In the United States, 10% to 35% of adults have chronic venous insufficiency, and 4% of adults 65 years old or older have venous ulcers. Identifying signs of venous disease early on while implementing surgical intervention, if warranted, can increase healing outcomes and decrease the recurrence of venous ulcers. Treatment of venous ulcers can include exercise, leg elevation, dressings, advanced wound care such as cellular and tissue-based products, compression therapy, medications, venous ablation, and surgical intervention.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Venous ulcers are known to be complex and costly. There is an array of evidence-based treatment options available to help formulate a comprehensive treatment plan toward wound closure. Health care professionals should utilize treatment options while encompassing a holistic approach to venous ulcer management. Involving the patient and/or caregiver in developing a treatment plan will increase the chances of successful wound healing outcomes. Wound closure is the primary goal of a treatment plan; however, preventing recurrence and infection should be considered just as important.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Venous ulcers pose a worldwide problem that comes with high recurrence rates, risk of infection, and substantial costs to treat. Health care professionals must be knowledgeable about underlying causes and pathological features. The comorbidities that are often associated with venous ulcers contribute to these lesions and prolong healing times, which in return can cause further complications. Venous disease and venous hypertension are lifelong conditions requiring lifelong management. The vicious cycle of venous reflux and obstruction associated with chronic venous disease leads to ulceration(s). Management of venous ulcers requires comprehensive wound care and compression therapy for life.

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Ulcerative Wounds

By the WoundSource Editors

Ulcers in the lower extremities are more common in patients older than 65. Ulcerative wound types include venous, arterial, diabetic neuropathic, and pressure. To identify ulcer types, these wounds should be examined thoroughly for their distinct characteristics such as location and shape, as well as in conjunction with other patient information, to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

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Wound Culture

By the WoundSource Editors

All wounds are complex non-sterile environments, often requiring a succession of intersecting phases of wound healing to repair completely. When epithelial tissue is compromised by a wound, contamination by common skin surface microbes may result in infection or the formation of a biofilm that impedes healing. Although systemic antibiotics are necessary for treating clinically infected wounds, the use of antibiotics and antiseptics in non-healing, non-infected wounds is debated.

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Wound Infection

By the WoundSource Editors

With multiple risk factors impeding wound healing and wounds often diagnosed with mixed etiology, wound healing can be complicated. Understanding the pathophysiology of wound healing can help clinicians to better comprehend the needs of a wound to help it progress through the stages of wound healing.

Fabiola Jimenez's picture
Nutrition Management

Fabiola Jimenez, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN

While I was providing foot care to a patient, one of my coworkers overheard me advising the patient that she will need a lot more protein to heal her wound, and some changes to her diet will be necessary and therefore tighter control of her blood glucose and improved hemoglobin A1c. Later, I was approached by a coworker who told me: "Because you are not a Registered Dietitian, you cannot discuss dietary needs with the patient." I disagree.

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Pilonidal Cyst

By the WoundSource Editors

A pilonidal cyst is a pimple-like cyst typically located in the sacrococcygeal region of the body, usually near the top of the intergluteal cleft (also referred to as the natal cleft). Rarely, pilonidal cysts may also manifest between digits. This common condition is seen most frequently in men who are between 16 and 24 years old. The name "pilonidal”" is derived from Latin and literally means "nest of hair" because this condition frequently involves a hair follicle. The pit of the pilonidal cyst contains hair and skin debris that produce a foreign body reaction, resulting in localized inflammation and pain.