Why isn’t my wound healing properly?
There are many reasons why the length of time it takes a wound to heal may be delayed. Health factors such as diabetes, cancer, or excess weight can all prolong the healing process. In addition, certain medications including NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen and naproxen) or steroids may affect wounds. Even various lifestyle factors such as inactivity leading to excess pressure on the wound or tobacco and heavy alcohol use can hinder wound healing.
For more information on treating your wound and to learn about supplies that you may find helpful, you can read this article. If you are concerned about your wound recovery, you should speak with your care provider directly.
How can I clean a wound?
If your wound has been closed using stitches or staples, it should be protected with dry dressing for 48 hours. After this time, you can gently clean the wound with soap and water. If you have an open wound, ask your doctor for advice on how you can clean it without increasing the risk for infection.
How can I tell if a wound is infected?
Signs of infection include:
- Warmth in or around the wound
- Redness in the skin around the wound
- Swelling in or around the wound
- Pus in or draining from the wound
- Fever or chills
- Elevated body temperature
If you are concerned about an infection, you should speak with your care provider.
How do I treat an infected wound?
Most infected wounds can heal fully with the proper treatment. The two main ways to treat an infection are (1) using specific dressings to kill bacteria in the wound or (2) taking antibiotic medications that will fight the bacteria inside your body. The most severe infections may require surgery, but even these infections can improve substantially with the proper treatment regimens.
For more on the basics of wound care, including treating wounds and preventing infections, click here.
Have a question we didn't answer? Comment below & we'll get back to you! Or, take a look at our Wound Care resources!