Five Signs Your Wound Isn't Healing

Wounds can range from cuts, scrapes and bruises to deep lacerations of the skin and ulcers. No matter how simple or severe a wound is, the goal is always to have the wound heal as quickly as possible and without complication.

While wounds vary in the time they take to heal, be cautious of the following signs that your wound is not healing properly and may be in need of medical attention:

  1. Increasing Pain. As the wound heals, the amount of pain you experience should decrease, not increase.
  2. Discharge. If the discharge is thick and yellow, this typically indicates an infection has occurred. Gently clean the wound with warm soapy water, and seek medical attention. Never scrub a wound.
  3. Foul Odor. The presence of odor in a wound might be a sign of decaying or dead tissue. Do not use scented creams or other scented toiletries to try to hide the smell, because this could worsen the condition of the wound.
  4. Redness or Swelling. Slight swelling or redness around a wound is normal at the beginning of the healing cycle, but it should begin to subside after a few days. If redness or swelling is still present or worsens with time, the wound is likely not healing as it should.
  5. Thirty days without Improvement. While not all wounds will have healed at the 30-day mark, they should be well on their way. If a wound has not improved in this timeframe, advanced medical care is needed.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek care from an experienced wound healing center trained in treating complex wounds. Without proper care, infection of a wound can be dangerous and lead to loss of a limb, illness or even death.

There are many reasons why a wound might not heal correctly. However, certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, lymphedema, smoking and venous insufficiency can increase the chances you will develop a non-healing wound. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and regular exercise can help ensure that your body heals properly.

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