Having a wound can be a very frustrating, time consuming and potentially limb or life threatening event in one’s life.
Every wound should decrease in size by at least 50% in one month. If this does not occur, it is important for the wound care team to reevaluate ways to optimize the patient’s ability to heal the wound. Tilting the healing scale in the patient’s favor will bring about wound closure as rapidly as possible and restore an individual’s quality of life.
In our previous blog “Wound Healing Tips,” we detailed the importance of pressure offloading, avoiding tobacco, glucose control and many other tips. Additional variables that should be addressed when wound healing stalls is reevaluating what wound product is being used and determining if present conditions warrant changing of product due to lack of timely wound healing.
Wound care and wound healing today is a highly innovative, changing and exciting area of podiatry practice. One such product uses the oak from oak trees that contains tannins. These tannins enhance wound healing by reducing inflammation and by their antibacterial effects, lessening the likelihood for wound complications that jeopardize wound healing.
Another commonly used product contains Manuka Honey that comes from a Manuka Tree found in New Zealand. This honey is made from a bee that harvests the nectar from the beautiful and colorful flowers of the Manuka Tree. This gives rise to the potent healing chemical methylglyoxal (MG) that is known for its healing properties. This type of honey has a higher viscosity or “liquid thickness” and a low pH that inhibits bacteria from forming in the wound bed and promotes healing. It is important that a home remedy of honey from your kitchen cabinet should not be used and is not the same as it can create a serious limb threatening infection.
Another product of great interest is one that uses collagen in the form of a dry granular powder that helps to fill pressure ulcerations of depth, diabetic ulcerations and leg wounds that otherwise may be difficult to heal. This product helps wound healing by stimulating the cells known as fibroblast that produce collagen to promote healing. This powder also helps the body heal by using what is known as MMP (Matrix Metallo Proteinases ) that protects the body’s own natural collagen. This can often be used as a kickstarter to fill deep wounds. Good wound healing requires wounds to heal from the inside out. A wound must first fill its depth then later allow what is known as epithelial migration to occur in which the skin closes across the top in an orderly fashion in the correct order. This is very important in good wound healing as a wound that heals too quickly on the top may be a sign of weakness and a precursor to future breakdown and repeat ulceration.
Your podiatrist at Valley Foot Care, Inc. is Board Certified in wound care and understands the vast universe of wound products. Different wound products have different strengths and different weaknesses. Wound products used vary based on the individual wound and its unique characteristics. Having many wound products available is like having many tools in a toolbox, giving the treating podiatrist more options for wound healing and a faster recovery. Prevention of amputation is paramount in what podiatrists do everyday. Once a wound is encountered, it is a race to the finish to get it closed as rapidly as possible.