What Inhibits Wound Healing?

Doctor putting gauge on patient's handWhile most wounds can heal on their own with little to no scarring, there are still some things that can inhibit the healing process. You may realize it, but inhibited healing may be due to your daily habits and the way you care for your wound.

Urgent care centers in Lehi share the things that can negatively affect wound healing:

Age

Wounds tend to heal more slowly with age. This is because of decreased skin elasticity and reduced collagen production, which are important elements that help in wound healing. A weaker immune system, which is naturally common with age, also put older adults at a greater risk for infection. Those with chronic illnesses also have slower healing.

Infection

It is likely for an infected wound to worsen and have a long time recovering. Germs and harmful bacteria can infect wounds and increase the risk of scarring. Risk factors for infection include no proper cleaning and treatment, a wound due to animal or human bite, and a wound that results from a puncture like a nail or piece of glass.

Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Drinking

Smoking compromises your immune system, with studies suggesting that those who smoke after a surgery experience slow healing. They also tend to suffer from complications like infection and wound rupture. Excessive alcohol drinking, on the other hand, lowers the body’s resistance to bacteria and other elements, which therefore increases the risk of infection.

Medications

Certain medications can negatively affect the healing process. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these include corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin), anticoagulants, and immunosuppressant. A drug used in chemotherapy can also interfere with wound healing.

Obesity

Your weight also affects the ability of your body to heal or recover. Extra weight is said to put an extra tension on the stitches, which can cause the wounds to open. Studies suggest that obese individuals also have poor blood flow, which can deny the wound site oxygen, nutrients, and other elements important for healing.

If you or a family member is dealing with a wound, be sure to follow the basic wound care tips. Also, don’t hesitate to visit an urgent care facility if your wound needs stitches or medical attention.