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When to Seek Treatment for a Wound That Won’t Heal


“People ask me daily when they need to see a doctor for a wound, but the real question is how deep is the wound and how long ago did you receive it?” said Michael Hurwitz, M.D., medical director of the Hoag Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center.

To understand how a wound is supposed to heal, search your knees. All evidence of the scrapes and scabs of childhood are likely long gone. That is because the human body is blessed with the incredible ability to heal damaged tissues.

Typically, if a wound does not respond to conventional treatment, such as direct pressure, elevation and sterile dressing, within 30 days, it’s time to seek expert care.

Non-healing wounds not only don’t disappear without a trace, but they can also cause serious infections, illness and loss of a limb.

Individuals with risk factors, such as diabetes, blood flow problems, and immobility, have increased chances of developing chronic or non-healing wounds.

“If you are experiencing a diabetic foot ulcer, venous leg ulcer, a chronic wound from radiation therapy, or a skin injury that won’t heal, don’t ignore it,” said Dr. Hurwitz. “Even seemingly small diabetic foot wounds, if unrecognized or undertreated, can rapidly progress, resulting in infection, amputation and loss of mobility, and sometimes permanent disability. It is easier to heal you if you seek treatment right away.”

Seeing a specialist trained in wound care is critical to healing properly. That is why, in partnership with a patient’s primary physician, Hoag Wound Care Center brings together physicians, nurses and physical therapists, all trained in advanced wound care, to specifically tailor a treatment plan for each patient’s unique needs.

Utilizing state-of-the-art treatment options, patients can undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment that delivers a high concentration of oxygen to the bloodstream, which helps reduce swelling, fight infection, build new blood vessels, and ultimately produce healthy tissue.

With a healing rate of 94 percent and an average healing time that is six days faster than the national average, Hoag Wound Care Center was recently honored with the Center of Distinction Award for clinical excellence by Healogics™ Inc. and was one of only seven California hospitals that qualified as a Center of Excellence.

Patients with private insurance, Medicare and most health care plans can utilize the services offered at Hoag Wound Care Center.

For more information, call 888-662-0032.