EWMA Conference 2017

The wound healing process: recurrence, risk factors, etc.

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  • I have had a pressure ulcer. What are the risks that it will return?

The major risk factors for a pressure ulcer are pressure with reduced mobility, excessive moisture of the skin and poor circulation (See glossary). You should change your position frequently in bed and in the chair/ wheelchair and use the pressure relieving items that are selected for you by your clinician. Regular inspection and care of your skin care is also very important (More information can be found in the patient materials available here).

 

  • I have had a diabetic foot ulcer. What are the risks that it will return?

The major risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers are poor blood supply, lack of sensation or trauma. It is therefore very important that you inspect your feet daily. If you see any shear, callus, skin break or change of skin colour, you should contact your clinician. One of the most important issues in prevention of an ulcer are your shoes, which should be well fitting and not causing friction or extra heat, and thus sweating of the feet. Also be aware of preventing traumas. Remember to check your shoes to ensure that there is nothing inside before you put them on. Finally, you should be aware that very hot or cold temperatures (for example hot water, car heater or very cold weather) are potential risk factors that may lead to trauma, as lack of sensation in your feet means  you are not alerted to potential dangers (More detailed information about the diabetic foot can be wound at www.iwgdf.org).

 

  • I have had a venous leg ulcer. What are the risks that it will return?

If you have had a venous leg ulcer, you are at risk of developing another one. The most im-portant action to prevent an ulcer is to continue to use your therapeutic stocking or bandage. Good skin care is also important. If you notice any break in your skin, please contact your clinician.

 

  • I have had a vascular reconstruction. What are the risks that I will develop an arterial ulcer?

Exercise is beneficial, but you should discuss this with your clinician. If you see any shear, callus, skin break or change of skin colour, you should contact your clinician. One of the most important issues in prevention of an ulcer are your shoes, which should be fitting well and not causing friction and extra heat, and thus sweating of feet. You should be aware that very hot or cold temperatures (for example hot water, car heater or very cold weather) are potential risk factors that may lead to trauma.

 

  • I am receiving another medical treatment. Can this influence my wound healing?

Sometimes it can, and it is therefore very important that you inform the clinicians managing your wound care about other conditions and medications

 

  • I am undergoing cancer treatment. Will this influence my wound healing?

Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy will affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This may have a negative effect on the wound healing (Link to cancer website).

 

  • Can steroids influence my wound healing?

Steroids  will influence wound healing, especially if the doses are high and the medication has lasted for a long time. Patients with conditions requiring high dose steroids given for less than 10 days will have no remarkable effect on wound healing.

 

  • Can pain medication influence my wound healing?

Some types of pain medication will affect your wound healing. If you are taking pain medica-tion, you should discuss this with your clinician.

 

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