Chronic Wounds: How Self-care Can Help Speed Healing

The Doctor Weighs In
7 min readSep 21, 2020

By: Jeffrey Nelson, Ph.D.

Optimal self-care for patients with chronic wounds includes dressing changes, good nutrition, and recognizing warning signs of infection.

(Photo source: iStock)

Chronic wounds aren’t typically something most people think about. If there is a break in the skin or deep tissue, nature takes over and our bodies begin the healing process.

However, for some adults, especially those who are older or managing health conditions, wound healing — particularly if the wound is chronic — is not as easy.

Chronic wounds are common

Every year, more than 6 million people in the U.S. are affected by chronic wounds such as pressure injuries and foot ulcers[1]. Unlike acute wounds from a surgical incision or an injury, chronic wounds often occur in people with conditions like immobility or diabetes.

These types of wounds don’t necessarily show signs of healing within 30 days. If wounds don’t heal properly, they can lead to some very serious complications.

Because of the associated complications, chronic wounds put a significant financial strain on the health system. It’s estimated that $25 billion is spent annually in the U.S. to treat these wounds. This, plus the inconvenience and setbacks of people afflicted with chronic wounds makes it critical that healthcare providers help patients reduce the risk of wound complications.

Risks factors for chronic wounds

Some of the factors that put a person at higher risk for chronic wounds, including the following [2]:

  • older age
  • hypertension
  • poor nutrition
  • chronic lung disease
  • diabetes
  • obesity

Self-care can make a difference in chronic wound care

I am a nutrition scientist and researcher at a global healthcare company that produces science-backed nutritional therapies. I’ve specialized in wound healing for more than two decades.

My passion is to empower patients and their caregivers with self-care strategies to…



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