A skin wound that doesn’t heal, heals slowly or heals but tends to recur is known as a chronic wound. Some of the many causes of chronic (ongoing) skin wounds can include trauma, burns, skin cancers, infection or underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. Wounds that take a long time to heal need special care.
Be guided by your doctor, but self-care suggestions for slow-healing wounds include:
Do not take drugs that interfere with the body’s natural healing process if possible. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as over-the-counter aspirin) will hamper the action of immune system cells.
Ask your doctor for a list of medicines to avoid in the short term.
Make sure to eat properly. Your body needs good food to fuel the healing process.
Include foods rich in vitamin C in your diet. The body needs vitamin C to make collagen. Fresh fruits and vegetables eaten daily will also supply your body with other nutrients essential to wound healing such as vitamin A, copper and zinc. It may help to supplement your diet with extra vitamin C.
Keep your wound dressed. Wounds heal faster if they are kept warm. Try to be quick when changing dressings. Exposing a wound to the open air can drop its temperature and may slow healing for a few hours.
Don’t use antiseptic creams, washes or sprays on a chronic wound. These preparations are poisonous to the cells involved in wound repair.
Have regular exercise because it increases blood flow, improves general health and speeds wound healing. Ask your doctor for suggestions on appropriate exercise.
Manage any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.
Do not smoke.
Check your wound regularly. See your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms including:
Pus or discharge from the wound
Always see your doctor if you have any concerns about your wound.