Why Isn’t My Wound Healing?

Sometimes bacteria and germs are the reason a wound is slow to heal or seems like it will not heal, according to Cheryl Hutton, a wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOC nurse) with CHC Solutions, Inc. When a person has an open wound, it’s easy for common bacteria from the skin to get inside. Bacteria getting inside a wound is called contamination. 

If bacteria are in a wound but are not reproducing and not causing a problem, this is called colonization. Infection means the bacteria are reproducing, so there are a lot more of them. They are invading the soft tissue and preventing healing. 

Other factors that can slow wound healing include: 
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes or diseases of the liver, kidney, or lungs 
  • Certain treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation 
  • Smoking 
  • Obesity

What are the signs of infection in a wound? 

The usual signs of infection—pain, heat, and purulent exudate (or pus drainage) —may be different in chronic wounds, according to Hutton. 

The signs in chronic wounds (wounds that are more than 30 days old) include: 
  • increasing pain at the wound site 
  • redness at the wound site 
  • swelling at the wound site 
  • heat 
  • purulent or pus drainage 
  • serous or clear drainage 
  • delayed wound healing 
  • foul odor

Article referenced: Wound Source 

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.