Ulcers, pressure injuries and diabetic wounds can all become chronic wounds

What is a wound?

A wound is a type of injury where the skin is torn, cut or punctured.

Most wounds will heal within 4 weeks. However, there are some wounds which do not heal in the expected amount of time. When wounds fail to show signs of healing within 4-6 weeks, they are known as chronic wounds.

What wounds can become chronic?

Understanding the stages of wound healing can be important in the care of chronic wounds.1 Some examples of wounds that may become chronic include:

Trauma wounds

These result from accidents or impacts that cause the skin to be torn, cut, burnt or punctured. They include things like postsurgical wounds, amputation wounds and extended burns.

Ulcers in people with circulation issues

Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the parts of your body. When blood flow is not adequate, a wound may not get the oxygen or nutrients it needs to heal, and this may delay the wound healing process.

Pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)

Also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores, pressure injuries are wounds that are often caused by constant pressure on the skin over a period of time. Pressure injuries often occur when there is persistent pressure on bony sites on the body, such as the heels, elbows, hips and base of the spine. They usually affect people confined to bed or those who sit in a chair or wheelchair for long periods of time.

Wounds in people with diabetes

Diabetes is a predisposing factor for wounds, and diabetic wounds such as ulcers on the legs and feet can occur in people with diabetes.2 This is a major issue considering the increasing number of people with diabetes, so diabetic wound care is becoming increasingly important.2

Why do wounds become chronic?

There are some factors that can increase the chance of a wound not healing properly. These include:

  • Chronic Illness icon

    Chronic Illness
    e.g. arthritis, diabetes, kidney or liver disease

  • Difficulty showering or bathing iconDifficulty showering or bathing
  • Taking several medicationsTaking several medications
  • Excess alcohol iconExcess alcohol
  • Inadequate diet iconInadequate diet
  • Poor circulation iconPoor circulation
  • Smoking iconSmoking
  • Weakened immune system iconWeakened immune system
  • Mental decline or impairment iconMental decline or impairment
An elder man

The age factor in wound healing

As we age, there are natural changes to the skin that may increase the risk of a wound developing. The skin of older people tends to be thinner, less elastic and more delicate. For this reason, older people have an increased risk of developing pressure ulcers or an injury during a prolonged stay in bed.

Dehydration in an older person can further reduce their skin elasticity, making it more fragile and susceptible to break down. Dehydration will also reduce efficiency of blood circulation, which will reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the wound.

ARGINAID products

Consuming 2 serves of ARGINAID or ARGINAID® Extra each day can help improve the nutritional management of wound care.3,4

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  1. Ghaly P, et al. Br J Nurs. 2021;30(5):S38-S42.
  2. Lazzarini, P.A. et al. Journ of Foot and Ankle Res, 2012;5:24.
  1. Brewer, S. et al. Journal of Wound Care, 2010;19(7):311-316.
  2. Desneves, KJ. et al. Clinical Nutrition, 2005;24:979-987.