The Best Wound Care Treatments

A Wound Care Revolution

Thirty years ago, patients like Bob struggled and suffered terribly with wounds that would not heal. Ulcers of all kinds (diabetic, venous, pressure, and vasculitic) together with abcesses, burns, and traumatic lacerations proved difficult to treat. Today, however, once a wound is properly diagnosed, the combination of moist dressings and innovative technologies such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound therapy have emerged as some of the best wound care treatments. Wound care has quickly become both a science and an art of healing.

Appropriate Diagnosis and Treatment of Wounds

Successful treatment of wounds depends on an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s wound type. Many wounds have an underlying pathology usually caused by some illness or disease process. If the underlying illness is being treated, the wound will heal much faster and stay healed. The assessment of a wound includes a complete patient history and physical exam, a nutritional history, wound history and assessment. Seventy-five percent of an accurate wound diagnosis comes from completing a thorough patient and family history and taking the time to thoroughly talk with the patient and family to fully understand the scope of the illness.

Moist Wound Dressings

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of scientists like Dr. G. Winter, today there are hundreds of newer topical dressings available for advanced wound healing. These new wound dressings include silver antibacterial dressings, new absorbent and cushioning foam dressings, collagen dressings which stimulate new skin growth, and hydrogel dressings that are non-sticking and cause less pain and damage to new and fragile skin when removed.

Electrical Stimulation & Ultrasound Therapy

Electrical stimulation is the use of electrical energy to stimulate wound healing. Ultrasound therapy is the use of a mechanical vibration transmitted at a frequency above human hearing.

Electrical stimulation helps wounds heal by:

  • Increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation
  • Reducing periwound edema and pain
  • Killing or inhibiting bacterial growth
  • Stimulating skin cell reproduction
  • Helping to produce a smoother, thinner scar
  • The use of electrical stimulation and ultrasound therapy along with moist wound dressings can decrease wound healing time by as much as 50 percent!

Ultrasound therapy aids in wound healing by:

  • Improving tissue oxygenation
  • Stimulating the release of growth factors
  • Warming the wound
  • Stretching the collagen fibers

History Really Can Be a Great Teacher

While it may be somewhat disconcerting to have a wound care clinician bring up treatment therapies involving honey, fear not, because what was once thought old is new again. Honey has been used in wound healing since biblical times. Recent studies and research findings have proven that medical-grade honey is an effective dressing additive for wound healing. Its wound-healing therapeutic properties include:

  • Antibacterial activity – honey kills bacteria (MRSA & VRE)
  • Growing new blood capillaries
  • Growing granulation tissue and epithelial cells
  • Keeping wounds moistHelping control wound odor

The Art of Wound Care

All the modern treatments and dressings described in this article allow wound care clinicians to effectively care for and heal all types of wounds. But if you or a loved one currently has a wound that is not healing, be sure to find a clinician and a practice that will take the time to understand your background, your medical history, and your needs. Such attention to detail is critical to starting the healing process. For once an accurate diagnosis is made, the many advances in wound care therapy we enjoy today can be woven in concert by a technician who understands that the process is as much an art as it is a science.

Melanie S. Finocchiaro RN, CS, FNP is the clinical director for the Wound Care Clinic – ESU offices of Savannah and Pooler. She holds an MS in nursing as a Registered Professional Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner. She served as founding president of the United Advances Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia and is the current president of the Nurse Practitioner Council of Coastal Georgia. She was named “Nurse of the Year” in 2002 for Georgia District 1 and a past recipient of the area Medical Association’s Healthcare Heroes Award.

Contact the Author

Melanie S. Finocchiaro, APRN, BC, FNP
Savannah Office
815 East 68th Street
Savannah, GA 31405

(912) 691-2614

Pooler Office
1000 Towne Center Blvd. Suite 705
Pooler, GA 31322

(912) 998-0040