introduction and phases
of wound healing
personal factors that
affect wound healing - nutrition, fluids, smoking
personal factors that affect wound healing - diabetes,
movement, steroids, alcohol, stress, sun exposure, other
surgical and post operative
factors that affect wound healing
- bromelain, vitamin K cream
scar formation and treatment
hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Personal Factors That Affect Wound Healing
Diabetes -Diabetes is a disease in which blood
glucose (sugar) levels can swing out of control. Studies
show that high levels of sugar in the blood impair healing.
In addition, the physical stress of surgery can cause
blood sugar levels to deviate from their norm.
If you have diabetes, careful monitoring of blood glucose
to keep it within normal levels (80-120) will be required
during after surgery to maximize your healing potential
and keep you safe.
Movement - Too much movement can cause fluid
accumulation (swelling) and prevent cross-linking of
collagen and fibrin which are necessary to hold the
wound together. In more drastic cases, the force of
movement can pull the incision apart. Your doctor may
limit your mobility with special instructions or post
op garments to speed your healing.
Steroids- Systemic steroids commonly used to
treat inflammation, pain, asthma, or allergies can significantly
slow healing and thin the skin. Many surgeons will not
operate on patients taking chronic steroid medications
such as prednisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone
or dexamethasone. (Steroid medication names usually
end with the letters -sone or -one).
Alcohol - Alcohol thins the blood, slows healing,
and increases bruising. You should stop drinking at
least 1 week before surgery, and abstain for 1 week
after or longer if you are taking narcotic pain medications.
Stress- Studies have shown that your mood affects
your ability to heal. Optimistic, positive personalities
heal more quickly than depressed, anxious individuals.
Stress, sleep, and hormone levels can contribute to
your mood and your healing potential.
Sun Exposure- Sun exposure can cause darkening
and thickening of scars for up to a year after surgery.
Therefore, your incisions or wounds should be covered
during the day and blocked from UV light to prevent
this needless complication. Sun-block can be applied
usually after 2 weeks, but check with your doctor for
Other Factors Out of Your Control-There are some
things you have no control over when it comes to healing.
Oily, thick skin heals better than dry, thin skin. Younger
people heal quicker than older people, but by the same
token, this also means that younger patients tend to
form thicker scars because they're youthful bodies are
very good at building collagen. Those with chronic illness,
poor nutrition and low hormone levels also heal poorly.
To Next Section - Surgical
and Post Operative Factors That Affect Wound Healing