Childhood is often a constant narrative of small cuts, skinned knees, and other injuries that commonly occur due to youthful activity and enthusiasm. Magically, these heal in short order, disappearing without a trace.
Some people notice that these small injuries take longer to heal as they get older, particularly when they occur on the lower legs or hands, places that are furthest from the healing effects of fresh blood supplied by the heart and lungs.
When it takes more than a month for such an injury to clear up, it’s medically considered to be a non-healing wound. It can be a sign of a previously undiagnosed injury and most non-healing wounds result from one or more of several body conditions.
When you have wounds that are slow to heal, it’s time to visit Cardiac and Vascular Interventions of New Jersey. They can diagnose the conditions behind your symptoms to reduce the chances of complications resulting from a lingering wound.
Conditions behind non-healing wounds
There are generally five conditions that contribute to non-healing wounds and these can result from a variety of illnesses, diseases, or lifestyle reasons.
1. Poor circulation
The principal supply route for the raw materials of healing is the bloodstream. The body requires fresh, oxygenated blood to handle its repair tasks. When the fresh blood supply is compromised, you may have arterial insufficiency, a problem with the blood vessels leading from the heart to the cells. A common reason for this is peripheral atherosclerosis disease (PAD).
Good healing also requires that used blood and healing byproducts return to the heart and lungs, the role of your veins. Venous insufficiency happens when valves tasked with preventing the backward flow of blood fail, allowing used blood to pool. This is the underlying cause of varicose and spider veins as well.
2. Repetitive injury
If you develop a wound at a vulnerable spot for reinjury, it could prevent the healing cycle from progressing. A diabetic patient who has nerve damage in their feet may not be aware of a blister resulting from constant friction, which continues to damage the same area. Instead of a callus forming, a non-healing wound remains as an open ulcer or scab.
Retained fluids, called edema, also interfere with the healing process. Swelling of the ankles and lower legs are common signs of edema, which often involves problems with the lymphatic system. As with blood circulation, edema interferes with site nutrition necessary for normal healing.
Any damage to the skin has a potential for infection. If a virus, bacteria, or fungus takes hold at the site of an injury, it could delay the repair cycle, resulting in a non-healing wound.
A balanced diet provides protein and other nutrients necessary as building blocks for healing. Injuries can dramatically increase the demand for certain nutrients, including protein, so it’s possible for gaps in your diet to contribute to slower healing.
Tracing the causes behind these conditions can be a complex diagnostic process. Choose a circulatory specialist like Dr. Ramzan M. Zakir and the team at Cardiac and Vascular Interventions of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. You can contact the office by phone or online to schedule your personal consultation. A non-healing wound can, in some cases, indicate a serious health condition, so book an appointment now to stay on top of your health.