Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Wounds

ulcer-infected-ulcerPain and heaviness are common symptoms accompanying chronic wounds in the lower extremities or elsewhere. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of chronic wounds is key in getting the treatment you need. Failure to treat a chronic wound can put you at significant risk of amputation.

But with early diagnosis and proper care, you can prevent amputation and other complications. If you have not done so already, speak with our wound care team at the Wound and Vascular Center to develop strategies to treat your wounds. Call today and book a consultation at your convenience: 888-918-3137. We are available 24/7 and accept most types of insurance.

What symptoms are common with chronic wounds?

The signs and symptoms of chronic wounds depend on the type of ulcer:

  • Diabetic ulcers – Diabetic ulcers often develop on the bottom of the foot. They are painful and most patients have difficulty walking. People with diabetic ulcers may have discoloration in their feet, which can appear black, blue, or red, and they can also display signs of infection, such as fever and swelling.
  • Venous ulcers – These types of ulcers are irregularly shaped and fairly superficial. The first sign is an area of skin that darkens and thickens; this is where the blood is pooling. The skin will usually appear shiny and smooth, and feel dry and itchy. Venous ulcers can also cause swelling and pain.
  • Arterial ulcers – Arterial ulcers, which commonly develop between the toes or on the ankle, have well-defined edges and are exceptionally deep – sometimes down to the tendon. They appear raised and shiny and are cool to the touch. These types of ulcers can be very painful, particularly after exercising and while at rest.
  • Pressure ulcers – These ulcers may appear red and warm to the touch at first, later progressing to a discolored, open sore. Pressure ulcers are very pain and if not treated the wound may become deeper and deeper.

foot-ulcer

What are the long-term effects and risks of chronic wounds?

Chronic wounds affect every aspect of your life. Infection and amputation are the primary physical complications of concern. Wounds can also severely limit your mobility, which affects your entire routine, from your job to your family life.

Perhaps most notable are the long-term psychological and social effects some patients experience. These may include:

  • Poor sleep quality
  • Limitations in work and recreation
  • Lack of energy
  • Worries and frustration
  • Self-consciousness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social isolation

In the clinical research journal Wounds, Patricia Price, PhD, of the Department of Wound Healing at Cardiff University explains:

wound-progression

[Chronic wound] patients have a significantly poorer quality of life compared to healthy people. The loss of independence… can lead to several, sometimes subtle, changes in overall health and well-being. These changes include altered eating habits, depression, social isolation, and a gradual reduction in activity. The presence of these factors, along with immobility, not only influences the occurrence of further wounds, but also exacerbates their severity and jeopardizes their ability to heal.

How can I prevent chronic wounds from worsening?

Being at risk for chronic wounds does not mean you are powerless, though. You can opt to be proactive in your health care, live a healthy lifestyle, and implement the plan you develop with our team at the Wound and Vascular Center. These things will greatly reduce your risks, improve your overall prognosis, help you prevent infection, and empower you to live a fuller life.

Early diagnosis and intervention, and a comprehensive, whole-person approach to care is the key to managing chronic wounds and preventing amputation and other complications. The treatments we provide at the Wound and Vascular Center provide outstanding results. Our mission is to prevent amputations and help patients live full and active lives. With the latest vascular equipment and technologies, improved diagnostics, and a team of diverse, highly-trained professionals, we are able to do just that.

Our 9-in-1 solution has helped hundreds of patients successfully treat chronic wounds. If you are at risk for wounds or think you may be developing symptoms of chronic wounds, we encourage you to come in for a consultation. Contact us today by calling 855-827-2852 or by filling out our contact form. We have same-day appointments available by request.