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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Wound That Isn’t Healing
The body has an incredible way of alerting us when something might not be right. It’s helpful to become aware of these symptoms as a signal— ignoring them will only allow the issues to worsen. This can be the case when it comes to superficial, seemingly minor wounds that are not healing on their own. Bayhealth Wound Care Physician Lydell C. Lettsome, MD, FACS, WCC, shares four things to be aware of if you are dealing with these types of wounds:
- Timeframe. Figure out how long the wound has been on your body. If it’s past the typical healing time of two weeks and closer to one month, you should seek professional medical attention.
- Observe Healing. Is your wound making any progress toward healing at all? It’s important to keep track of it, so that you are able to share the information with your healthcare provider. It should be getting smaller, have less drainage, and begin growing new skin by two weeks. If it seems to heal but then re-bleeds at the touch, it should be assessed by your doctor immediately.
- Risk. Know your own risk for these types of wounds. Patients who are diabetic, chronic steroid users, smokers, or exposed to previous radiation are all at a higher risk for having minor wounds that won’t heal within a normal time frame.
- Meaning. You have a wound that hasn’t shown signs of healing for weeks—What could it mean? There are several reasons this might be happening.
- It may be an indicator that your immune system is compromised.
- It could be a sign of a systemic infection in your body as a whole.
- The wound itself might be skin cancer. This can begin with certain types of warts or moles on your skin. Whether it is precancerous or not can be determined by a skin test.
It is important that you discuss your specific case with your healthcare provider, as to not jump to any conclusions. Figuring out what is going on with your wound doesn’t have to be intimidating or scary. It’s best to figure it out as soon as possible so treatment can begin.
Visit Bayhealth.org/wound-care to find out more about Bayhealth’s Wound Care Center or to find a specialist today.