How to Take Proper Care of Wounds

Proper wound care can help you avoid painful infections that could cause health complications. If your wound isn't healing as quickly as you expected, your general surgeon, Dr. Scott Grover at Cache Valley Surgical Consultants, can offer helpful treatments.

Treating wounds at home

Keeping your wound clean is essential whether you cut yourself, you have an open sore or a surgical incision. Before you touch your wound, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Failing to wash your hands can transfer bacteria to the wound and increase the risk of infection.

Wash the wound every day with mild soap and warm water, then let it air dry or pat it dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. Apply a little antibiotic ointment to the wound to keep it moist and prevent dirt or debris from coming in contact with it. Moist wounds are less likely to develop scabs, which can slow healing.

Place a bandage over the wound, unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise. Be sure to remove the bandage every day and replace it with a clean one until your wound heals.

What to do if your wound doesn't heal

Many factors can affect wound healing, including:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Poor circulation
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Medications
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, and conditions that affect the immune system

If your wound doesn't look any better after a week, it's time to call the Doctor, even if it doesn't hurt. Don't wait a week to call if you have diabetes or you notice signs of infections, such as red streaks on the skin around the wound, warm skin, pain, swelling, yellow or green discharge, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Your doctor can offer a variety of treatments that may be helpful, including removing dead tissue, closing the wound with a skin substitute, speeding healing with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or using compression therapy to heal wounds on the ankles or legs.

Do you need help with wound care? Call your Dr. Grover at Cache Valley Surgical Consultants, at (435) 752-7122 to schedule your appointment.

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