How Can I Tell if My Wound Won’t Heal?

Have you recently noticed a cut or scrape on your leg that seems to have been there for a while? Are you starting to wonder if it will ever go away? You may have developed an ulcer—a wound that won’t heal without medical intervention. Here’s how to know if your cut or scrape is more than just a surface injury.

What Exactly is an Ulcer?

Everyone gets wounds at some point in their lives: they are just injuries that damage your skin, exposing the tissue that lies beneath. When your body is working properly, these wounds are no big deal. They usually heal on their own, although topical creams can speed up your recovery time.

Sometimes, however, that’s not the case. If your injury hasn’t mostly healed within a month, chances are you have a non-healing wound (ulcer.) This is especially likely if you have a condition, like varicose veins or diabetes, that has compromised your blood circulation.

If you do have an ulcer, it’s a big problem: in fact, if you don’t seek treatment for ulcers, you could end up with serious medical complications. You could even lose your affected limb.

So, aside from timing, how can you know if you have a non-healing wound? Chances are, you’ll notice other symptoms at the site of your wound, including:

·         Redness

·         Swelling

·         Numbness

·         Pain

·         Discharge

·         Odor

You may also develop a fever with your infection.

How Can I Treat My Ulcer?

If you suspect you’ve got a non-healing wound, don’t panic: your vein specialists can help. We can make sure that your wound is being cared for, with debridement (removing dead or infected tissue), proper dressings to keep the area clean and protected, pressure, and applicable medications. We will also work to address any underlying vascular issues that may have contributed to the problem.

The key to recovering from ulcers is to seek medical help as soon as you identify a problem. So, if you have compromised circulation, pay special attention to any cuts or nicks on your body. And if you notice any ulcer symptoms, go see your vein specialist right away.

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