• Debride – This means to clean off any dead, dehydrated or callused tissue. This will be done initially to be able to fully evaluate the wound and to reduce the chance of infection. It will also be done, if necessary at subsequent dressing changes.
• Cleanse – Using a very mild cleanser or saline
• Absorb – The dressings applied to the wound need to be able to absorb any drainage that the damaged skin is producing. This fluid prevents the new skin cells from growing properly and from adhering to the underlying tissue.
• Protect – The dressing material may need to have a soft top cover and/or you may need special footwear to relieve pressure if your wound is on your foot. Many advanced wound care dressings also protect the wound from outside moisture and bacteria, reducing the risk of infection.
• Control Edema - Swelling in your leg squeezes the blood vessels and prevents good blood flow which is critical to wound healing. Your provider may wrap your leg from the toes up to the knee. The material may look like an Ace Wrap but it will be a special material designed to appropriately control swelling without compromising circulation. You will need to keep this wrap clean and dry. It is also helpful for you to reduce your salt intake and elevate your leg above heart level as often as possible during the day.
As we have discussed many times you will not be changing the dressing yourself. Wound care treatment involves evaluation by trained medical specialists. You will leave the dressing clean, dry and intact until your next visit. If you’re under a protocol where you need to change the dressing you would only be because there is an active infection, which your health care team is fighting. If there is not an active infection or excess drainage that cannot be handled by a dressing left on longer, it is totally inappropriate to change the dressings everyday or several times a day. This was the old protocol from the civil war up to the 1960s. It would be one indication that you may not be working with the right health care team to heal this wound. I do want to state again that either infection or excess drainage which cannot be controlled would be one reason that you would need to change the dressing more often than every three to seven days.
This information made available through Dr. Julia Overstreet or this web site is not intended to replace the services of a nurse, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. Any action on your part in response to the information provided in this web site is at the reader's discretion. Dr. Julia Overstreet or Drjulia.com makes no representations or warranties with respect to any information offered or provided on or through the drjulia.com web site or Dr. Julia Overstreet. Dr. Julia Overstreet or Drjulia.com is not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this web site and/or any web site(s) linked to/from it.
New Tissue Forms
Epithelialization (New Top Layer of Skin)