Elderly patients may experience delayed wound healing compared to younger people.
Many factors come into play during the wound healing process, from the types of dressings you use to the status of your nutritional health. Age also has a massive effect on how quickly and well you recover. As people get older, they experience physiological changes that may put them at a greater risk of poor healing. This, of course, depends on the person’s own state of wellness, but there are some bodily transformations that are largely out of one’s control. These common age-related changes may have a detrimental effect on the wound healing process:
- Reduced skin elasticity: As people age, their skin loses elasticity due to degradation of the elastic tissue and collagen fibers in the outer dermal layer. These elements provide strength and flexibility, but they also help tissue recover and restore to its original state. Since the tissue is less elastic and supple, it is has a harder time returning to its natural shape and color. This means older people have a higher risk of scarring from a wound.
- Slower collagen replacement: Tied into the reduction in skin elasticity is a decrease in the amount of collagen found in the body. The lower levels of collagen can hinder wound healing, as it’s required for cellular development and tissue regeneration within all layers of the dermis.
- Age-related diseases: Certain diseases and medical conditions are more common in the elderly than the younger population. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and others – particularly those that affect blood flow – can be detrimental to the recovery process. When blood cannot properly reach the affected area, it becomes malnourished and low in oxygen, thereby stalling the wound healing phases.
Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.