Providing excellence in wound care and being a leader in healing wounds involves more than just slapping on a high-priced product and crossing our fingers. Wounds can vary in sizes, shapes, locations, and types. Is the wound located over a bone prominence, such as a heel or ankle? Then it may be indicative of pressure ulceration. Is the ulceration located over a weight-bearing surface of a patient with diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy (where the foot no longer feels threats from the outside environment)? Then it may be more indicative of neuropathic ulceration. Other ulcerations such as ischemic ulcerations can occur in patients with poor circulation, are very painful to touch, and can be a precursor to gangrene and amputation. Another type of wound occurs on the inside of the ankle and is known as venous stasis ulceration which occurs as a result of valves in veins not closing properly and is known to drain excessively. This type of wound often results in avoidance of social situations in which the individuals are embarrassed due to the wound odors and from difficulty managing these wounds that require frequent dressing changes due to the amount of drainage.
Regardless of the type of wound, a good clinician will understand the wound characteristics and the importance of enhancing wound characteristics to promote good wound healing and limb preservation. One well-known and commonly practiced acronym among many wound care providers is the acronym “DIMES” which stands for:
Debridement – Surgical removal of dead, unhealthy skin is critical to promote wound healing.
Infection/Inflammation – Controlling both of these is important for faster healing and wound closure.
Moisture – Properly balancing the moisture content of a wound prevents infection and cell death and supports wound healing.
Edge – Wounds that drain too much or use too much product may result in a white, loose, weak edge referred to as “macerated.” Proper application of wound product should be the use of a very thin layer to the wound bed only being careful not to go beyond the wound margins.
Support – This area is often overlooked and involves anything else that can be utilized to help a wound heal. Examples might include engagement of family members or outside sources such as home nursing, using additional products, or anything else that will help the wound heal.
Treating or healing wounds is a very complex process that the doctors of Valley Foot Care Center understand. Success in wound healing requires obtaining a complete history from the patient, understanding the pictures painted by the wound itself, and appropriate use of the correct wound product at the right time.
If you are struggling with a difficult non-healing wound, please reach out to our Board-Certified Wound Specialists who both have over 25 years of experience making a difference.
Check your wound daily! If you notice: redness, pain, swelling, or a change in the drainage, or if you experience nausea, vomiting, fever, or chills do not delay your care! Seek care immediately and visit your local emergency department. The advice provided in this Blog is meant only to be informative and is in no way meant to be diagnostic and considered to be treatment.