There are four key phases for a wound to heal successfully:
- Hemostasis – clotting to control bleeding.
- Inflammation – swelling occurs as helpful materials are transported to the wound site and invasive microbes are pushed out.
- Proliferation – a protective layer of tissue is formed.
- Remodeling – rebuilding of tissue and revascularization and reorganization of the new tissue to function like the surrounding tissue.
Any factors that interfere with one or more of these phases can prevent wounds from healing. Some of the most common factors include:
- Poor Circulation – Oxygen and materials needed for healing can’t get to the wound site. Dead cells and harmful materials can’t be carried away.
- Diabetes – Diabetes interferes with healing in many ways, including lower oxygen levels, weaker immunity and decreased ability to form new skin cells and blood vessels. Diabetic nerve damage can also make it harder to sense a wound and seek treatment.
- Infection – Harmful bacteria can prolong inflammation and prevent new
- Nutrition Deficits – Wounds need energy, protein and other vital nutrients to heal.
- Repeat Trauma – Wounds on feet, moving joints and any body parts that may easily get bumped, rubbed or pressured are more susceptible to reopening.