wound care

With the cooler months rapidly approaching, our skin can be the first aspect of our being that is affected by the changes in temperature.  

Changes in temperature of the skin, along with environmental and other factors, can all lead to skin breakdown and therefore wounds can develop. The skin – being our largest organ – protects us, but how do we protect it? 

Wound care must always be approached from a holistic viewpoint; that is, the wound is attached to a person, therefore all aspects of that person’s well-being needs to be considered before a ‘dressing’ is applied to cover a wound. Wound care products alone are not the only answer to good wound care. If the goal of care is to heal, then all wounds should be covered with an appropriate dressing and a moist wound healing environment promoted.

Aside from selecting an appropriate wound care dressing, people with a wound need to consider their diet. How much protein are they consuming in a day? As increased protein intake is required to heal wounds. Decreased mobility can also play a role in the development of wounds also, which can be a factor in the cooler weather. 

Good skin assessment and skin care is pivotal to providing optimal wound care. Looking after the skin and wounds should be a high priority for everyone with a wound. In caring for the skin and promoting optimal skin care the development of wounds can possibly be reduced and at the very least, can be identified early.

Key tips for ensuring good skin care and preventing wounds:

  • A visual check of a person’s skin from ‘top to toe’ conducted at least daily, is a vital aspect of ensuring that any changes to the skin are identified early and therefore an appropriate management plan is initiated. 
  • Encourage fluid intake – especially water, not caffeinated drinks . 
  • Ensure soap free washes and apply a hydrating moisturizer at least daily
  • Aim not to overheat the skin, fabrics such as synthetics can do this, cotton is a better alternative. 
  • Protect the skin if required – there are sleeves available that protect the skin on the limbs from potential trauma. 
  • Contact your local health professional if you have any concerns (such as GP, wound consultant, wound clinic, etc.). 
 

Author: Melinda Brooks

Nurse Practitioner Wound Management