WHAT IS A WOUND
A wound is an injury that causes a break in the skin. Chronic wounds are wounds that do not heal completely within 6 weeks. There are three (3) types of wounds, Infectious Wounds, Surgical Wounds, and Ulcers. Ulcers are the most common type of chronic wound and there are several kinds of chronic ulcers.
1). ARTERIAL TYPE ULCERS are often caused by hypertension, clotting or hard plaques of substances such as cholesterol or calcium that deposits within the arteries causing narrowing or blockages of the blood vessels which limits or disrupts blood flow to affected areas.
This causes open sores or ulcers due to the lack of blood and nutrients being supplied to a particular area of the skin. They often develop on the legs and feet. Long term uncontrolled elevated blood Glucose from Diabetes, Smoking, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Hypertension and Lung Disease are just a few common conditions.
2). VENOUS ULCERS are foot and leg ulcers caused by problems with blood flow in your veins. They most commonly develop on the inside of the leg, just above the ankle, however, they are not limited to this location.
Venous Ulcers are commonly associated with long term or Chronic Edema (swelling) of the feet and/ or legs. The Edema is commonly caused by weakness or “malfunctioning” of tiny vessels within the veins. For example, imagine a garden hose that has doors throughout the length of the hose that opens and closes at the same beat of the heart. As blood is forced up through the hose toward the heart, they open then immediately close to not allow the blood to seep backdown the hose. When the tiny valves with our vessels (the garden hose) become weakened, they do not totally close allowing the fluid to seep down causing Edema (swelling). This constant high pressure can gradually damage the tiny blood vessels in your skin and make it fragile. As a result, your skin can easily break and form an ulcer after a knock or scratch.
If you have a Venous Ulcer, you may also have:
• Swollen Ankles
• Discoloration and darkening of the skin around the Ulcer
• Hardened skin around the Ulcer
• A heavy feeling in your legs
• Aching or swelling in your legs
• Red flaky, scaly and itchy skin at your legs
• Swollen Veins
3). PRESSURE ULCERS develop when constant weight and friction on a specific area for a long duration of time causes the skin to tear. This type of Chronic Ulcer is especially common on the back, ankles, and feet. The pressure ulcer is commonly associated with the same predetermined factors as the Arterial Ulcer which is a limited blood supply or available oxygen to the affected area which does not enable the skin to heal timely or at all.
*There are two additional factors worth mentioning that lead to Chronic Wounds by slowing the healing process.
1). An infected wound will surely slow or stop the healing of a wound. In addition, it could cause more advanced conditions such as Sepsis, which is when infection enters your blood and tissues and could then cause a fever and eventually death.
Long term infections at the feet, legs and other areas of the body also are responsible for required amputation of the infected area(s). An infection occurs when bacteria enters into a wound. Diseases such as diabetes can also increase your risk of infection.
2). A weak immune system may also lead to a chronic wound. Radiation treatments, Poor nutrition, and certain medications such as Steroids, weaken the immune system. Diseases such as Cancer and Diabetes, can weaken your immune system and make it hard to fight an infection.
*Those who are Diabetic are often prone to any of the Ulcers noted below:
4.) Neuropathic –NEUROPATHY is the cause which is a condition where the nerves in your skin is unable to feel the normally associated pain with blisters, break down and tearing of the skin, cuts, punctures, abrasions and more. A wound (Ulcer) then develops at the area many times without an individual with neuropathy knowing the wound exists.
Chronic Wounds and Diabetic or Idiopathic Neuropathy are effectively treated at Foot Pain Doctors of Jacksonville with great Success. We have over 30 years of experience and knowledge at treating these conditions with modern and up to date treatments. Call our office today for an immediate appointment. (904) 329-1391