To safeguard your health, be on the lookout for the signs of non-healing wounds.

According to estimates from a 2012 report in the journal Wounds, chronic, non-healing wounds affect about two percent of all Americans. There are several different reasons why wounds don’t heal, including systemic bacterial infection, overall poor circulation and fluid buildup in major tissue sections.

One of the problems of non-healing wounds is that there is quite a bit of misinformation surrounding these injuries. For instance, some people believe that tissue removal is the only way to definitively treat these wounds. There are quite a few options – including hyperbaric oxygen chambers – but the first step is properly identifying these wounds.

Look out for the following five signs:

1. Pain

Some level of discomfort is to be expected during a wound care regimen. This pain can be indicative of the body’s normal functions. However, too much pain, or discomfort that begins to worsen over time suggests you’re most likely dealing with a chronic wound. If you experience pain even while taking ibuprofen or other relievers, this can also be indicative of a wound that isn’t healing properly.

2. Odor

You can also expect some unique odors from the wound site. As the Canadian Wound Care Association explained, as tissues break down, they emit a certain odor which most people generally perceive as foul-smelling. Of course, it’s also important to recognize that some infections have accompanying smells. For instance, pseudomonas bacteria smells almost sweet, while the proteus strand has been likened to ammonia. If your odor isn’t helped by wound care supplies, then you know you’re facing a more serious situation.The benefits of massage

Some level of discomfort is to be expected during a wound care regimen. This pain can be indicative of the body’s normal functions. However, too much pain, or discomfort that begins to worsen over time suggests you’re most likely dealing with a chronic wound. If you experience pain even while taking ibuprofen or other relievers, this can also be indicative of a wound that isn’t healing properly.

3. Timing

Oftentimes the easiest and most effective way to determine if you have a non-healing wound is by following the 30 day rule. If the wound has yet to close or hasn’t made ample progress after 30 days, then it’s essential you seek out medical care ASAP. Some physicians extend this timeframe out to two months, depending upon the patient and the wound type. But even if you’re unsure, it’s better to err on the side of seeking a physician’s opinion.

4. Swelling and discharge

Odor and pain are important observational tools, but there are a few indicators some people don’t pay enough heed to. Non-healing wounds are almost always accompanied by redness or swelling, and, like pain, you should be concerned if it worsens after a few days. Discharge from the wound site is also quite common. Clear fluid is normal, but thicker discharge that is yellowish in color could indicate an infection.

5. Proper healing

As important as it is to recognize the signs of non-healing wounds, you should also know what’s involved with wounds that are healing regularly. Scabs, those non-elastic rough patches of skin, are normal for deeper scrapes and cuts. You might also be able to see new tissue as it forms, and the wound site itself should then begin to shrink. If nothing else, observation of your wound, and its progression is going to be a huge step in preventing the many complications of non-healing wounds.

For all your specialized wound care products, turn to Advanced Tissue. We deliver to both homes and long-term care facilities.