Wound care has progressed with a lot of research into how to achieve the best “wound” environment for healing. It has been shown that a moist environment increases rates of healing up to 54%. However how do you achieve the ‘moist’ and what does this actually mean? All wounds are not equal and there is no recipe. You need to consider: is the wound still bleeding? is it really dry and scab formed? is there an infection? or is there any other injuries to blood vessels from your injury? These are all contributing factors to help decide the wound care plan.
The aim of healing is to get the skin edges to close together as quickly as possible. As the wound heals the body is undergoing many processes to clean up the ‘rubbish’ and lay down collagen to hold the area together while it gains strength. It takes up to 12 months for a scar to fully mature. What we do in the early stages of wound care has a huge influence over this process. The other important factor is considering the environment of the wound – If there is a lot of swelling in the area, this increases the distance between the cells, so the waste products the cells produce as well as the nutrients delivered to the area in your blood is mixed in. Swelling can increase the time it takes to heal for this reason, it can also have impacts on how much a joint can move affecting how the wound heals.
We aim to reduce the tension on the skin and keep the moisture in while still allowing the wound to breathe. Choosing the correct dressing to support this is important. Depending on where the wound is located and what structures it covers can influence which dressing you choose. For example, what you might use on a palm which is often sweaty and doesn’t allow dressings to stick well, is different from your forearm that may be covered by a sleeve and not placed under taps when washing hands.
Our aims of wound care are:
- Promote healing as quickly as possible to reduces issues in scarring
- Non-adhesive dressings
- Less pain
- Stream line dressings to allow you to move