In an ideal world, the complex and sophisticated natural wound-healing processes that are initiated in response to skin trauma would take effect instantly and resolve every wound, every time. Unfortunately, anyone involved in wound care knows that this is simply not the case. There are a number of reasons why certain wounds prove more reluctant to heal than others, from the age of the patient to the location of the wound. In this article, we will look briefly at some of the factors that can inhibit wound healing.
Size, Shape, & Tissue Integrity
The particular characteristics of an individual wound are one of the key factors which determine its speed of healing. The size of wound is clearly an important consideration, but so too is its shape. Linear wounds close more quickly than rectangular wounds, which are generally quicker to heal than circular wounds. Healing is also inhibited in wounds that are desiccated, infected or which contain necrotic tissue or foreign bodies.
Local Factors Affecting Wound Healing
In addition to the characteristics of the particular wound, local and systemic factors also influence the rate of healing. Local factors may include sensory deficits and mechanical factors that can lead to tissue damage, as well poor circulation caused through diabetes, cold fear or pain. In addition to advanced age, systemic impediments to rapid wound healing include poor nutrition and hydration, the presence of other comorbidities, and the use of certain medications including sedatives, tranquilizers, steroids and chemotherapeutic agents. A final important systemic consideration is the behavioral patterns of the patient, including smoking or excessive drinking.
Bad Wound Management
Despite all the intrinsic factors that can delay wound healing, a surprising number of wounds are prevented from healing through inappropriate wound management. A number of wound care practitioners neglect recent scientific evidence when choosing wound care options, and base their management on traditional practices rather than evidence-based medicine. This can have a profound effect on wound healing. Practices such as allowing a wound to become desiccated, using antiseptics inappropriately or overusing whirlpools can all undermine the body’s natural healing processes.
A great way to ensure that you stay up-to-date with current wound care practices and consistently follow best practice is to become certified in wound care. A wound care certification helps you keep on top of advances in wound management, improves your skills, and demonstrates to your patients and colleagues that you are committed to providing the best in wound care.
Learn More With Our Wound Care Education Options
Interested in learning more about wound care and certification? Browse through our wound care certification courses for information on our comprehensive range of education options to suit healthcare professionals across the full spectrum of qualifications and experience.