Skin Care & Wound Care
Skin Care and Wound Care
Our skin is the first line of defense against disease and injury, yet we often take our skin for granted. Neglecting skin injuries, skin damage and skin wounds can lead to life-threatening conditions such as skin cancer, chronic non-healing wounds, system-wide spread of infection and amputation of limbs. By being alert to skin changes, early skin damage and proper wound care we can treat skin diseases promptly and avoid serious complications.
Treating chronic wounds is estimated to cost Americans $5 billion-$7 billion annually. And the number of patients with chronic wounds increases10 percent every year. Approximately 10-15 percent of diabetics develop chronic wounds, amounting to nearly two million chronic wound patients. As the incidence of diabetes and circulatory disease increases with the growth of the elderly population, the costs of chronic wound care is expected to increase as well.
Any physical injury that breaks the skin is classified as a wound and needs prompt first-aid care. Common causes of wounds include cuts, punctures, scrapes and tears of the skin. Keeping a wound clean is a priority and may help avoid an infection at the wound site. Wash your hands before giving wound first aid. All wounds should be cleaned thoroughly with mild soap and water. Next, apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. If a wound has an embedded object larger than a splinter, seek medical attention immediately—do not remove the object.
Chronic Wound Care
A chronic wound is a wound, incision or injury that has not improved after one month.
Chronic wounds or non-healing wounds may be caused by poor circulation, complications of diabetes, constant pressure, improper hygiene or neglect. If chronic wounds are ignored, they can become infected and result in loss of a limb or even death.
Common Chronic Wounds:
- Bed Sores—pressure skin ulcers over a bony prominence.
- Diabetic Sores— skin ulcers caused by poor circulation, usually in the lower limbs.
- Collagen Vascular Disease—disease of the connective tissues, the collagen protein that holds cells together, generally related to a malfunctioning immune system.
- Venous Statis—an ulcer that develops where circulation is slow.
- Ischemic Wounds—wounds caused by lack of oxygen delivery to the skin.
- Chronic wounds can also include frostbite and burns.
Medical Supplies & Equipment Company, LLC offers a complete line of wound and wound care products and supplies especially made for treating chronic long-term hard-to-heal wounds, including:
- Ready-to-use saline wound wash spray for flushing and cleansing wounds;
- SNUGS tape-free and gauze-free secondary wound dressings;
- V.A.C. Vacuum Assisted Closure device to assist wound closure;
- Bi-directional Doppler for assessing blood flow parameters in wounds;
- Soft sole insoles to prevent and alleviate foot wounds;
- Self-adherent soft silicone wound dressings gentle to surrounding skin;
- Hyalofill sheets deliver syaluronic acid to aid wound healing;
- Mattress overlays to alleviate pressure wounds;
- Wound cushions and positioners;
- Antibiotic and antifungal wound dressings;
- Skin and wound deodorizers;
- Skin moisturizers;
Skin and Wound Care for Diabetics
Diabetics must take exceptional care of their feet and legs. One of the long-term effects of diabetes is nerve and blood vessel damage. The skin on the feet are often first to be affected and can have the most severe effects of diabetes. The American Podiatric Medicine Association estimates that approximately 86, 000 lower limbs are amputated each year because of diabetic skin complications.
The skin regulates body temperature and stores vitamin D, water and fat. The skin is our first line of protection against heat, cold, light, injuries and infections. Comprised of a series of layers, our skin is the body’s largest organ. The outer skin layer, the epidermis, is composed of flat scale-like squamous cells. Underneath are round basal skin cells. The inner skin layer, the dermis, contains blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, glands that produce sweat to regulate body temperature and sebum, an oily substance that keeps the skin moist. Although the skin is resilient, repairing itself after injury, it is vital that we keep our skin healthy.