Monitoring the progress of a wound can help it from becoming more severe.

Scrapes, cuts and bruises are a part of life and our bodies are generally built to withstand the damage. We clean the areas, sterilize them, wrap them in protective bandages and let our natural healing processes do the rest of the work in the pursuit of wound healing.

But what happens when that wound doesn’t heal as expected? What do we do when that injury takes longer than expected to heal or starts to look much different than it did at the beginning of the process? At what point should one consider seeking the help of a clinician to address a wound problem?

Many affected

Knowing when to seek professional help for an injury is one of the keys to avoiding the development of a chronic wound. The condition affects approximately 6.5 million people and costs the U.S. approximately $25 billion per year, according to 2009 research from Wound Repair Regen, shared via the National Institutes of Health website.

In determining whether to seek professional assistance with a wound, the Mayo Clinic stated that the location of the wound should first be considered. Any injury, large or small, that occurs in an area that has or is near vital organs should be examined by a clinician. It is recommended that those with puncture wounds on the face, hands or feet, or wounds at a joint area, bring these injuries to the attention of clinicians as well.

Next, wounds that also come with a great deal of pain or bleeding should be immediately brought to the attention of clinicians. Conversely, numbness at a wound site could be an indication of nerve damage and should also be examined.

Signs of trouble

If, after self-treatment, the wound turns red, swells and begins exuding liquid, or is numb, it could be a sign that the health process has problems, the Mayo Clinic explained. In addition, Dr. Christina Morse, writing in the Ithaca Journal, stated that wounds that take longer than four weeks to heal should also be examined by a clinician to determine the cause of the chronic condition and begin steps to treat it to avoid further complications.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.