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Wound care shouldn't wait

A younger and older man doing carpentry.

Until you're vaccinated against COVID-19, staying home can help you stay safe. But not if it keeps you from getting the medical care you need for a wound that won't heal.

Chronic wounds are cuts, ulcers and other skin injuries that don't heal over time with basic care. They're more common in older adults, according to UpToDate. And although they can develop anywhere on the body, they're most often found on the feet or legs—and in people with other health problems, such as:

  • Poor blood flow.
  • Diabetes.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Infections.
  • Lack of mobility.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Smoking.

When to seek help

If you have a wound that isn't healing over time, call your doctor. Wounds that don't heal can get infected. In severe cases, this can raise the risk of amputation.

Possible warning signs can include:

  • Drainage.
  • Redness and swelling around the wound.
  • Odor.

But you should see your doctor about any wound that isn't getting better.

Wound care is worth it

During the pandemic, wound care can be provided in a lot of different settings. For in-person visits, hospitals, clinics and wound care centers will take steps to keep you from getting COVID-19. This includes wearing masks, gloves and other protective gear—and screening everyone for COVID-19 symptoms.

Some services may also be available online or in your own home. Or your care team might be able to instruct you on how to take care of your wound on your own.

There are a lot of options to keep you safe. So don't put off asking for help.

Reviewed 11/4/2021

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