WOUND CARE LEARNING CENTER
WOUND CARE- WOUNDS & TREATMENTS
As we age, our skin thins and the repair ability is not what it once was. For this reason, seniors are susceptible to wounds. It is important for elderly individuals to understand how to treat wounds properly to help avoid infection. This is especially true for those individuals living independently. Certain risk factors can make some individuals more prone to wounds than others. These risk factors include:
- Previous injuries or skin tears
- Impaired mobility
- Poor nutrition
- Chronic illness such as heart disease
Types of Wounds
A wound is a break or opening in the skin. When the skin is broken, even during surgery, germs can enter and cause infection. Wounds often occur because of an accident, injury or chronic illness and come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the type of wound, all wounds need to be treated effectively and as soon as possible to help prevent infection or further infection. Treatment for a minor scrap and an open gash is different; therefore it is important to understand the different types of wounds and how to heal them properly. Some basic wounds and acute wounds include:
- Cuts or incisions
- Scrapes or abrasions
- Puncture wounds
Wounds that are more serious in nature are commonly known as chronic wounds. Chronic wounds are typically wounds that do not heal correctly and are infected. Some chronic wounds include:
- Infectious wounds
- Surgery wounds
- Diabetic ulcers
- Pressure ulcers
Properly caring for your wound is important and keeping it clean and covered is recommended. This can help prevent scarring.
For minor wounds:
- Clean your wound with gentle soap and water, wound cleanser can also be used.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Cover the wound with an adhesive bandage , sterile bandage, gauze , or wound dressing.
For major wounds, follow your doctor's instructions on how to care for your injury. Specialty bandages are available to chronic or major wounds such as unna boots, alginate dressings , antimicrobial dressings , cellulose wound dressings , composite dressings , foam dressings, hydrocolloid dressings , hydrogel dressings , impregnated dressings , retainer dressings , and silicone dressings .
It is important to avoid picking at or scratching at the wound as it heals. This can interfere with healing and cause scarring. Contact a medical professional if there are signs of infection such as redness, painful, pus, or fever.
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