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Most wounds will heal if the correct treatment is used. Chronic wounds is a wound which resists all the normal methods of attention. It appears as though the patient will have the wound forever.

One example is a leg ulcer on an older person which is resistant to healing. Many elderly people have very dry, thin and flaky skin. This is partly due to a low blood supply to the skin and this is found more so in differing areas of the body. Some older people have the problem in the lower parts of the legs and if that part of the body is injured the skin is very slow to heal. A mere knock on the side of a table or chair may lead to an open, gaping wound. The skin is very fragile and breaks very easily. Some older people have skin which appears to be almost paper thin. If the lower leg is knocked and a wound develops other complications might develop. Leg ulcers can also turn into a chronic wounds which need careful monitoring.

Treatment

A patient with a chronic wound should be under the continuing care of a Doctor. If there is infection present, the Doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Diet tips

  • Fresh food and healthy home cooked meals are your best option for improving vitamin levels in the body to strengthen skin.
  • Anything high in vitamin C is particularly helpful for encouraging the growth of collagen which is necessary for tissue repair.
  • Check out Calanna’s community kitchen for community sourced healthy home made meal ideas.

Ask Calanna 

Ask your Pharmacist for advice.

  • Make sure that the patient uses the correct wound dressing. This will allow the ulcer to heal in a moist environment and act like skin. The dressing can be left on for up to 5 to 10 days but should be changed when the dressing is full of fluid i.e. the white blistery looking bubble reaches the wound edges.
  • If the patient has been diagnosed by their Doctor as having poor circulation in the veins, compression therapy should be used. Your Pharmacist will suggest the correct bandage to be used. A low stretch bandage. This will provide resistance to lower leg muscles and help stimulate circulation in the veins. At the same time the bandage will provide some protection for the ulcer against further injury. See the topic on Compression Bandages.
  • It is advisable to maintain compression once the ulcer has healed. Ask your Pharmacist about proper support stockings.
  • It is important that the patient eats food which will help the natural immune system of the body. Follow the diet hints.
  • Do not smoke as this tends to affect the all important Vitamin C in the diet. Vitamin C is important to help the growth of collagen so necessary for tissue growth.

DISCLAIMER: This information is an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or naturopath before following any medical regimen to see whether it is safe and effective for you.