Chronic skin wounds affect an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States, with treatment costs accounting for up to $25 billion per year. If not treated properly, chronic wounds can lead to severe local infection, sepsis, tissue or limb amputation, or death. Therefore, finding new and innovative ways to treat wounds remains of the utmost importance in the healthcare landscape.
Who Is At Risk for Skin Wounds?
Patients are more likely to get skin ulcers if they have certain risk factors, including:
During pregnancy, hormonal changes and increased blood volume may cause leg vein problems.
Tobacco smoke hardens the arteries and disrupts proper blood flow.
Being bedridden, paralyzed, or using a wheelchair puts the skin under constant pressure. Leg injuries and arthritis can limit movement.
Age is linked to atherosclerosis and venous insufficiency.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, damages the arteries and disrupts blood flow.
High Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol increases narrowing and oxidative stress in the arteries, which disrupts blood flow.
Ulcers form due to a combination of factors, such as lack of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, foot deformities, irritation (such as friction or pressure), and trauma, as well as the duration of diabetes
Obesity raises the risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis, and increased pressure in the leg veins.
History of Blood Clots
If a patient is prone to blood clots, they’re more likely to have blood flow issues.
If left untreated, a skin ulcer may become infected. This can prolong the healing process. The infection can also spread to deeper tissue, bones, joints, and blood.
Why Wounds Don’t Heal
As any physician knows, normal wound healing goes through the following stages:
- Wound Closure
- Remodeling (occurs for the next 6-12 months)
Chronic wound management is complex and ever-evolving. A surgical wound or a repaired laceration under increased tension or improper closer will open and can become a chronic wound.
Factors Leading to Non-healing Wounds:
- Extent of wound
- Wound stress
- Oxygen supply
- Chronic edema
- Contamination and local bioburden
- Chronic pressure
- Smoking and IV drug use
- Chronic illnesses – diabetes, malignancy, local and systemic infection and previous treatment with radiation to that area.
Types of Wounds
There are two types of wounds: acute and chronic. Acute wounds can be from surgery, trauma, or even thermal (burns). A chronic wound is an acute wound that fails to heal within 2-3 weeks after appropriate standard wound care.
Types of Chronic Wounds
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6 percent will be hospitalized due to infection or other ulcer-related complications.
Arterial ulcers are painful skin conditions caused by a lack of blood flow. When the skin and underlying tissue lose oxygen, tissues begin to die off and form an open wound.
Chronic Venous Ulcer
A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don’t return blood back toward the heart the way they should. This is called venous insufficiency. These ulcers usually form on the sides of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the calf. Venous skin ulcers are slow to heal and often come back if you don’t take steps to prevent them. A venous skin ulcer is also called a stasis leg ulcer.
Surgical Wound Dehiscense
Wound dehiscence occurs when an incision made during surgery reopens. It’s also known as wound breakdown, tissue disruption, or skin and muscle separation. Partial dehiscence happens when the limits of an incision separate in one or more tiny regions.
Pressure Wound (Bedsores)
Bedsores, pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that result from prolonged pressure. They develop in areas that cover bone, such as the hips, tailbone and ankles. Bedsores can develop over hours or days.
Traditional Treatment Options for Wounds
Wound care is mainly practiced in clinics or institutions, but now many providers are performing basic would care in their practices. Traditional wound care applications include natural remedies, antimicrobial dressings, skin grafts, and more. These treatments have all at one time been innovators in the field of wound care, treating wounds gradually in hopes of permanent healing. Though these traditional wound care options provide great potential healing benefits, they often require multiple applications and long periods of time to see improvement.
Why New Life Wound Care Treatments
According to Biomedicine Taipei, “Wound healing is the result of interactions among cytokines, growth factors, blood and the extracellular matrix. The cytokines promote healing by various pathways such as stimulating the production of components of the basement membrane, preventing dehydration, increasing inflammation and the formation of granulation tissue. These pathways are affected by various local and systemic factors . Local factors which includes hypothermia, pain, infection, radiation and tissue oxygen tension directly influence the characteristics of the wound where as systemic factors are the overall health or disease state of the individual that affect individual’s ability to heal . In addition to these factors, poor nutrition, age and protein, vitamins and mineral deficiency can also prolongs healing times” (Selvaraj Dhivya, 2015).
Traditional wound care treatments provide a band-aid to the wound but don’t assist in accelerating the healing process. At New Life, our wound care treatment approach provides a regenerative environment capable of healing wounds at a faster rate.
New Life’s wound care program includes amniotic tissue membranes. These membranes, or patches, contain cytokines, growth factors, the extracellular matrix, and more. These components are formulated within our bodies but become less rampant as we age. By utilizing the natural biologics properties of amniotic tissue membranes, these healing components can get to work immediately, providing an extra boost of healing that the body is not creating in abundance.
Additionally, the amniotic tissue membrane can reduce scar tissue formation, allowing for an enhanced healing process to occur.
Other Benefits of Utilizing New Life’s Wound Care Program:
- Reduction of pain when applied to a wound
- Contains antibacterial properties
- Non-immunogenic (will not be seen as a foreign material
- Provides a biological Barrier
- Provides a matrix for migration and proliferation of cells
- Reduces Inflammation
Enhance Your Practice’s Wound Care Program
If you’re looking to provide your patients with the best possible wound care, consider implementing New Life’s wound care program. Our advanced regenerative products contain cytokines, growth factors, and more, which work together to promote healing. Elevate your practice and learn how you may improve patient outcomes by harnessing the power of regenerative biologics today.
Contact a New Life representative today to learn more about our wound care program and get started with this innovative service line in your practice.
Selvaraj Dhivya, V. V. (2015, December 5). Wound dressings – a review. Biomedicine (Taipei), 5(4), 22.