3 More Wound Care Myths
Despite a popular myth, scars aren’t always avoidable in wound care regimens.
Several weeks back, we outlined a number of other popular wound care myths. For instance, saltwater does not actually help wounds heal faster, and certain kinds of saltwater can even contain harmful bacterial strains. Additionally, many people seem to believe that bleeding is a good sign of a wound’s progression, which simply isn’t always the case. There are dozens more of these fables, and each one can interfere with proper wound healing regimens and potentially harm scores of future patients. So as a means of further educating the public, here are three more wound-related myths:
1. The smaller the scar, the better the treatment
This seems like one of the most straightforward of all wound-centric myths. If the doctors and caregivers do their jobs properly – covering the injury and using only the best antibiotic ointments – then the patient shouldn’t have a scar at the end of the wound healing process. However, as Johns Hopkins Medical School pointed out, the appearance of scars depends on a number of different factors. For instance, there are certain injuries, based on the actual trauma or even the location of the wound, that will scar, regardless of how effective the treatment protocol may prove to be. The patient’s age, health history and overall diet also contribute to the scarring process. It’s also worth noting that scars aren’t permanent, and there are several ways to remove them almost entirely. The most popular such techniques include surgery – generally for larger, more conspicuous scars – and several rounds of laser therapy.
2. The only way to treat chronic wounds is tissue removal
According to a 2009 report published in the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration, chronic wounds affect 6.5 million American adults. For many, the only way to finally definitively treat these non-healing wounds is to physically remove the dead or diseased tissue. However, that’s not the only available treatment. As Live Well magazine pointed out, there are several non-surgical approaches to treating chronic wounds. One of the most popular of these methods is a hyperbaric chamber, in which patients are exposed to 100 percent oxygen as a way of oxygenating the bloodstream and jump-starting the body’s natural healing process. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, hyperbaric chambers were greatly effective at treating diabetic foot ulcers. Not to mention, these chambers substantially reduced the need for amputation in many cases. Other non-surgical procedures include debridement, usually with antimicrobials, and laser ablation.
3. Plasters are hives for harmful germs
Once again, the logic behind this myth seems to make sense. Covering a wound with plaster will allow offer bacteria a place to grow and thrive, effectively giving them a home base with which to attack the entire body. This is compounded by the fact that many people also believe wound sites must remain uncovered if they’ll ever completely heal. However, plasters are an important part of an effective wound care regimen, as they’re used by clinics and hospitals the world over. Plasters are, in essence, a shield for your wound, as they keep external germs and bacteria from entering. Not only that, but plasters also help to stabilize the wound itself and its surrounding area, and it’s these optimal conditions that help bolster the healing process. As for keeping wounds exposed, the Wound Care Society explained that this is just another old wives tale. If anything, too much exposure to the exterior atmosphere can actually dry out the wound and impede normal healing.
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