Everyone suffers from small injuries from time to time. Minor wounds you get from hitting the table in the dark or while playing football with your friends, heal fast. There is barely any need to get them treated professionally. All you need to do is take some rest and let your body do its magic.
However, not every wound is as simple as our everyday injuries. Many people who are survivors of road accidents, or other unfortunate mishaps, can suffer from highly complicated and major wounds that can not only restrict their normal routine life but can also lead to drastic consequences like losing their limbs or can even prove fatal.
Such patients require regular and advanced wound care from highly skillful experts. In addition to regular cleaning, it is also essential to get the appropriate type of dressing according to the characteristics of the wound, which can only be done by a wound care expert. Additionally, individuals with wounds are advised to implement several essential self-management practices daily to help speed up the healing process and at the same time, give a sense of regularity to the person.
We have put together a brief list of home tips that can make the patient’s life much more positive and help them collaborate with us and themselves on the journey towards healing to achieve the desired outcome – healing their wound fast.
Treating an Open Wound
The self-management practices to treat an open wound at include the following steps:
- Prepare yourself and the wound supplies before starting
- Wash your hands thoroughly with a soap or hand sanitizer
- Remove the old dressing and wash your hands again
- Cleanse the wound and examine it for foreign objects or dust particles that can be problematic later
- Apply the treatment suggested by your virtual wound care expert
- And keep a check for any swelling or redness that may arise as a result of inflammation or infection at the wound site.
- Learn more about the step-by-step process you can do at home at Wounds Canada Website.
Tips to speed up the healing process at home
If you are living at home with a chronic wound, things might seem pretty bleak. Evidence has shown that patients play an important role in the everyday management of their chronic conditions as they provide 99% of their own care every day.1 This is the same with wound care! Patients need to be willing to learn and put in the required care to advance the healing process.
Our team from the Advanced is willing to support individuals on their journey towards healing and help them to achieve the best outcome. Below we share some tips to get you on track and help to heal your wound even faster:
- Get lots of rest: As we know, sleeping is the best way to let the body heal. Research says that sleep deprivation delays the healing process.2 So, switch that alarm off and take a nap whenever your heart wants to.
- Eat healthy food: Eating healthy food is essential to heal your wound fast and fight infection. During the healing phase, your body needs not only calories but also fluid, protein, vitamin A, C, and zinc.3 If you are not eating well, talk to your primary care provider.
- Exercise: Exercise helps to improve circulation in your leg and brings more oxygen and nutrients to your wound. But you don’t have to hit the gym if you don’t want to or cannot do it. You can get into some daily stretching exercises or yoga. Consult your online medical assistant for the best exercises depending on your specific wound and its location.
- Maintain Hygiene: Keep your wound clean and avoid getting wound dressing wet are crucial to avoid infection. At home, you may be able to cleanse your wound with potable water. If you don’t have access to potable water, you may use bottled drinking water or normal saline to cleanse your wound.4 Contact your wound care nurse if the wound dressing gets wet or if the wound drainage soaks it.
- Do not smoke: Cigarette smoking has a negative impact on wound healing. Smoking prevents oxygen to get to your wound and heal it faster. Then it increases the risk for infections and inflammation and decreases wound tensile strength preventing your wound from healing or delaying healing. People, especially those with chronic wounds should quit smoking to fasten their healing process.5 Contact your healthcare provider to get supportive counseling and resource to help you to quit smoking.
Disclaimer: These tips are just meant to supplement your professional wound care advice and should not be considered as a replacement for the same. It is important to note that the wound healing process is complex and fragile. To achieve proper healing, we would recommend getting it accessed by a wound care expert.
No one wants to be laid up with the injury for any longer than they need to. By taking the appropriate steps to help your wound heal faster, you can give your immune system all the support it needs to get back to your regular lifestyle. However, wound management can be challenging, particularly when the individual is living with complicating factors that can increase the risk of new wounds or prolong the healing of existing wounds. Advanced wound care is what they need for optimal prevention and management of skin breakdown along with a systematic approach.
- Funnell MM, Anderson RM. Changing office practice and health care systems to facilitate diabetes self-management. Curr Diab Rep. 2003 Apr;3(2):127-33. doi: 10.1007/s11892-003-0036-7. PMID: 12728638.
- Mostaghimi L, Obermeyer WH, Ballamudi B, Martinez-Gonzalez D, Benca RM. Effects of sleep deprivation on wound healing. J Sleep Res. 2005 Sep;14(3):213-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2005.00455.x. PMID: 16120095.
- Alberta Health Services. Eating well for Wound Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/nutrition/if-nfs-eating-well-for-wound-healing.pdf
- Lalonde D, Joukhadar N, Janis J. Simple effective ways to care for skin wounds and incisions [published correction appears in Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2020 Feb 24;8(2):e2727]. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2019;7(10):e2471.
- McDaniel, Jodi C, and Kristine K Browning. “Smoking, chronic wound healing, and implications for evidence-based practice.” Journal of wound, ostomy, and continence nursing: official publication of The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society vol. 41,5 (2014): 415-23; quiz E1-2.