A small blister or sore can turn into a big problem if left untreated. The longer a slow-healing wound goes without proper treatment, the greater the chance of infection, hospitalization or even limb loss.
As part of Wound Care Awareness Month in June, wound care experts at Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center are raising awareness that healing can't wait when it comes to chronic wounds.
Nearly 7 million people in the U.S. live with chronic wounds, a 4 percent increase since 2020. The rise in case numbers is partially due to an aging population and higher rates of diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Many people with chronic wounds have delayed getting necessary care over the past two years with the pandemic. The result – a steep increase in limb loss, according to a study by the American Diabetes Association.
"For patients with diabetes, a wound can go from minor to limb-threatening in just a matter of days," said Robyn Radford, Director of Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center. "That's why it's important to regularly check for obvious wounds and watch out for cracked skin, red spots, cuts or blisters."
The 50/30 rule can help keep track of the healing process for most wounds, according to Goshen wound care experts. A wound area should be 50 percent healed after 30 days. If not, it's time to check with a healthcare provider about advanced wound care solutions.
Pressure ulcers are the most common type of chronic wound. They usually start from a wound over a bony prominence. If left untreated, tissue loss can lead to exposed muscle, tendon or bone.
Diabetic ulcers typically occur on the feet, heels or toes. Symptoms include dry or flaky skin on the legs and feet.
Venous stasis ulcers cause leg pain or achiness. Wounds may produce moderate to heavy drainage.
Arterial ulcers can cause leg pain when the leg is elevated. Shiny or tight skin that is cool or cold to the touch may indicate a serious problem.
Goshen Wound & Hyperbaric Center offers advanced wound care solutions, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, compression therapy, edema management and noninvasive vascular assessment.