Wound Care

Conditions Treated

Skin and wound conditions are superficial complications that can arise from accidents and injuries to chronic illnesses or aging. Learn about the conditions our wound care providers commonly treat.

Abrasions

Abrasion is a general term used for a wound caused by rubbing or sliding the skin against a rough or hard surface. These often occur on the elbows, knees, forearms, and lower legs. Slight abrasions generally heal on their own. However, severe scrapes accompanied by burning, tenderness, and stinging may require specialized care to stop the bleeding and promote healing.

Burns

When heat, electric currents, fire, sun or chemicals damage skin tissue, it is called a burn. The severity of the burn is categorized as first (red skin, no blistering), second (some blistering and skin thickening) and third degree (thickening skin with white, leathery appearance).

Many patients heal from small household burns on their own, but second and third-degree burns, or burns covering a large area, require specialized care and treatment to prevent further damage and reduce pain.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection caused by staphylococcus invading a wound. Symptoms include a red and patchy rash that spreads quickly, skin that is hot to the touch, tenderness and swelling, fever and fatigue. If left untreated, cellulitis can progress into a serious condition. Our wound care medical specialists diagnose cellulitis and design personalized treatment plans.

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Complex Abdominal Wounds

A wound in the abdominal area caused by a non-healing surgical incision or trauma can pose a high risk to patients and cause a much discomfort. Cutting edge treatments are available through our wound care providers to promote the healing of complex abdominal wounds, close the wound more quickly, and prevent further infection.

Crushing Injury Wounds

Crush injuries are characterized by an intense force or pressure onto the body or body part. Often, the body part is squeezed between two objects or pinned down by a heavy object. Bruising, bleeding, fractures, and lacerations are all possible results of crush incidents. Often extensive, crush injury wounds require specialized attention over a potentially longer period. Plus, injuries should be monitored for signs of infection including additional pain, redness, and pus. Our wound care providers are here for patients recovering from crushing injury wounds.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a general term used to describe inflamed, irritated skin. Environmental sensitivities and a genetic predisposition are causes for dermatitis.

  • Contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to something that touches the skin.
  • Eczema, which causes dry, scaly patches, is also called atopic dermatitis.
  • When the skin blisters and becomes dry and itchy, dyshidrotic dermatitis occurs due to the skins inability to protect itself.
  • Lastly, seborrheic dermatitis presents as dry, scaly patches on the face and chest. It is often found in infants.

Our expert wound care providers specialize in long term relief from the discomfort, burning and itching associated with dermatitis.

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Gangrene

Gangrene, or tissue death, occurs in body tissue that dies off due to a lack of oxygen or a bacterial infection. Often in the extremities, gangrene is most likely to occur in patients with diabetes, arteriosclerosis, blood clots and/or Raynaud’s Disease.

Symptoms include a wound that is swollen, red and gives off an odor or develops pus. The wound may come back after it appears to have healed, and the skin may turn green, black, or blue.

Gangrene is a serious condition but monitored treatment by our wound care specialists, in partnership with our vascular providers, can prevent amputation.

Lacerations

Deep cuts and skin tearing are called lacerations. Caused by sharp objects, accidents and injuries, lacerations are deeper than abrasions and tend to bleed significantly. Some lacerations and cuts heal on their own without medical attention. However, severe cuts may require medical intervention to prevent infection and serious complications. These measures may include stitches, antibiotics, and specialized dressings.

Lymphedema

Lymphedema—arm and leg swelling—is a condition in which the lymphatic system is unable to function properly. Filtering fluid fails to drain from the extremities, causing swelling and discomfort. Often hereditary, swelling may also result from venous insufficiency or cancer and radiation therapy.

Treatment is available to relieve the swelling and discomfort. Additional therapies and treatments address symptoms such as skin texture changes, open wounds, and limited range of motion.

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Mohs Surgery Nonhealing Wounds

Many patients with skin cancer undergo a cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatment called Mohs surgery. Thin layers of skin are carefully removed one at a time until all cancer tissue has been removed. In some cases, the Mohs surgical wound fails to heal correctly, causing redness, increasing pain, and drainage. Our wound care providers can treat the infection and provide specialized care to heal the wound.

Nonhealing Surgical Wounds

Some surgical procedures are minor with small incisions, while others are major and complex. Regardless of the surgery, sometimes the surgical wound does not heal correctly. The wound may fail to scab, or the patient may experience redness, drainage and/or odor, and increasing pain. Our wound care providers can treat the infection and provide specialized care to heal the surgical wound.

Ostomy and Fistula Care

Our wound care providers offer personalized care to assist patients navigating their new ostomy and fistula. From dressing the insertion site to nutritional advice, treatments are available to patients in the privacy of their homes.

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Radiation Wounds

Radiation therapy, when used to treat cancer throughout the body, can cause skin wounds called radiation burns. Patients, especially those with a poor diet and obesity, prior skin problems and diabetes, may experience redness, itching, flakiness and peeling, blistering, discoloration, and even open wounds and tissue death. With many cancer patients experiencing radiation wounds, treatments have been developed to restore skin back to health.

Skin Tears

Like abrasions and lacerations, skin tears are a wound on the skin caused by an injury due to scraping, rubbing, or cutting. Skin tears also occur due to blunt force against the skin, such as from a fall.

Skin tears are characterized by the top layer of skin (or more) separating from those beneath it. Older adults with chronic health issues and prone to falls, malnutrition and dry skin are at the highest risk.

Sometimes skin tears heal on their own. However, if a patient experiences worsening pain and fever, and the skin tear is red, draining, and odorous, our wound care specialists can treat the skin tear and any accompanying infection.

Surgical Incisions

Surgical incision sites are categorized into 4 levels of risk based on placement on the body and chances of infection. High risk surgical incisions, or wounds, require extra care to prevent or treat infection and monitor drains. Surgical incision care is available through our wound care providers.

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Ulcers – Arterial

Arterial ulcers are caused by blocked arteries. Sufficient oxygen and nutrients normally carried by the blood are unable to reach small cuts and damaged tissue, enabling them to fester, ulcerate and become infected.

Mostly found on the feet and ankles, arterial ulcers can occur anywhere on the body. Symptoms in the legs include swelling, itching, burning, reduced hair growth, flaking skin and discoloration.

Specialized wound care by our providers treats the arterial ulcers so these have optimal healing opportunity.

Ulcers – Diabetic

Poor circulation from diabetes can cause skin on the feet to become damaged and break down. This results in large, open wounds called diabetic ulcers or foot ulcers. Patients with diabetes, especially those with nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy, should take extra care to monitor the condition of their feet. Thus, any ulcers can be detected early and treated promptly. Look for swelling, irritation, drainage, redness, and odor when checking the feet for ulcers.

Ulcers – Pressure Sores

Often called bedsores, pressure ulcers occur on backs, hips, ankles, buttocks, and other bony body parts that experience continuous pressure due to immobility. They present as open wounds accompanied by pain and discoloration. Pressure ulcers require treatment to prevent further complications.

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Ulcers – Venous

Venous ulcers are the most common type of leg ulcer. These occur due to vascular insufficiency, or damaged valves hindering blood flow through the veins in the lower parts of the body. Blood pools in the lower legs, increasing the possibility of wounds forming.

Risk factors include obesity, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, recent injury, and high blood pressure. Specialized wound care by our providers treats venous ulcers so these have the best opportunity to heal.

Vascular Insufficiency

When blood flow from the legs to the heart is impeded due to faulty veins and valves, the condition is called vascular insufficiency. Blood pools in the feet and legs, causing swelling, aching, discoloration, and possibly varicose veins. Vascular insufficiency can be mild to severe. In more severe cases, circulation problems lead to blood clots and/or ulcers that do not heal.

Our wound care experts, in partnership with our vascular specialists who provide treatment for the vascular insufficiency, provide specialized care to heal the ulcers.

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