What causes non-healing wounds? A non-healing wound or ulcer is a wound that does not heal within five to eight weeks, even if the patient diligently follows medical advice to take care of it. These wounds are classified according to their severity: from clean to infected or necrotic. Most often, they result from diabetic complications, but they can also stem from several other situations, ranging from bed sores to surgical incisions.
It is crucial to seek medical help as soon as an ulcer is detected, especially if the patient has diabetes or other condition that hinders healing. If left untreated, the wound can develop into an infection or escalate to gangrene, where the tissue dies. If the infection has worsened to this point, the area may even need to be amputated to stop it from spreading further or even causing death.
Who is Most at Risk for Non-Healing Wounds?
As previously mentioned, those with diabetes are most often affected by these types of wounds. This is mainly because uncontrolled diabetes can affect circulation, slowing healing by preventing essential nutrients from being delivered to the body. There is also a correlation between blood glucose levels and wound healing. When glucose is consistently high, as it is with diabetes, it can impair the function of white blood cells, making the body less capable of fighting off bacteria and clotting wounds.
Further, if a person with diabetes has developed neuropathy, a form of nerve damage often associated with diabetes, they may not be able to feel pain or tell they have an ulcer. Therefore, the combination of slowed healing and neuropathy can make it easy for a lesion to worsen.
Other reasons an individual may be at a higher risk for wounds that are resistant to healing include:
- Anemia, cancer, or other chronic medical conditions
- Heart issues or issues with circulation, including high blood pressure, heart disease, or varicose veins
- Immobility, such as being bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound
- Unhealthy habits, including smoking, being inactive, and not eating a healthy diet
- A weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications, or other conditions
Advanced Wound Care Treatment
Traditionally, treatment for these types of wounds will include one or more of the following:
- Compression wrapping/stockings
- Topical wound medication
- Specialized dressings
- Debridement (removing the unhealthy/affected tissue)
- Patient education on self-care
However, at times this may not be enough, and the patient finds themselves in a cycle of ineffective treatments with varying results. Even worse, they may find that their health is degrading, and their quality of life has been negatively impacted.
Thankfully, our cellular therapy methods have been shown to decrease the time needed for healing by using safe, noninvasive treatments that have yielded outstanding results.
Our specialists can treat a variety of both acute and chronic non-healing wounds, including:
- Arterial/ischemic ulcers
- Venous stasis ulcers
- Infectious ulcers
- Vasculitis ulcers
- Diabetes wound/diabetic ulcers
- Pressure wound/pressure ulcers
- Burns, including radiation therapy burns
- Non-healing surgical incisions
If you are in need of wound care in Pittsburgh, New Kensington or any nearby city, call us today at (724) 335-5210. We can schedule a free consultation to answer any questions you may have and determine if you could be a candidate for treatment.