When dealing with arterial ulcers, collaborating with a wound care specialist is the best bet. That’s because these wounds typically point to an underlying problem and can easily become chronic if not dealt with properly. For those with diabetes, it’s particularly advisable to see a wound care specialist regularly for preventative care as well as to care for an existing wound, such as an arterial ulcer. This approach maximizes wound healing and minimizes complications. However, if you’re inclined to manage an arterial ulcer at home, there are steps you can take. First of all, keep in mind that arterial ulcers arise due to decreased blood flow, commonly linked to conditions such as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which is triggered by atherosclerosis.Therefore, dealing with the underlying condition will help with wound care. So, for example, if your doctor or wound care specialist has advised that you take certain vitamins, make sure to do it. If your doctor recommends that you walk around the block everyday after dinner, do it.
Caring for An Arterial Wound At-Home
Let’s explore some of the ways you can care for an arterial wound at-home. We’re going to begin the list by suggesting that you reach out to a wound care specialist. You can collaborate with them to come up with the best treatment plan for your specific condition and wound.
Consult with a Wound Care Specialist
Before you start at-home care, consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a wound care specialist. Your specialist will look at the ulcer’s severity, identify the root cause of your injury and ulcer, and provide tailored instructions for you to follow.
Adhere to Your Treatment Plan
Once you know what you have to do, do it. Strictly stick to the treatment plan that was outlined by your wound care specialist. They may have prescribed you medications for a few reasons: pain, any of the underlying conditions you may have like PAD, antibiotics for ulcerative infections, and potentially compression therapy if that will work for you.
Change Dressing Often
Keep up with your dressing schedule. Your specialist will give you a list of recommended wound dressing materials and techniques. Make sure to get all of the dressings that were recommended to you and change them often. Change dressings in a sterile environment because it is vital that you don’t get the dressings contaminated. This will help you avoid infection.
Clean the Wound
Cleaning the wound is important but it is something that your wound care specialist may want to do themselves. If they recommend for you to clean the wound, they’ll likely tell you to do it very specifically with mild soap and warm water. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, don’t put any antiseptic or alcohol on the wound. This may actually stop the healing process in its tracks.
Your wound care specialist may suggest compression therapy. Compression therapy includes the use of specialty bandages and wrapping that will correct the pressure on the wound. Don’t use compression therapy unless directed.
Keep an Eye on Changes
Look for changes in the wound’s size, shape, color, or the emergence of new symptoms, like a sudden fever, pus or oozing from the wound, etc. Look out for signs of infection and increased pain. That said, look out for decreased pain as well. Look to see if the wound seems to be healing.
You may be asked to make certain lifestyle adjustments that can help with healing. This could mean quitting smoking in order to improve circulation. You may also be asked to eat a diet rich in fiber, protein, or certain vitamins. You may be asked to exercise in order to enhance blood flow.
Vitamin Intake for an Arterial Wound
Did you know that certain vitamins and minerals can help in the wound healing process? It’s true. Let’s take a look at some of the best vitamins for healing an arterial wound.
- Vitamin C is key for collagen synthesis. This will help heal the wound, connective tissue, and surrounding skin.
- Vitamin A is also important for skin health. It helps with a process called angiogenesis, which helps wounds heal.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can protect cells during the healing process.
- Vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
- Zinc is a mineral that helps with protein synthesis and immune function.
- Protein is excellent for new tissue formation.
- The B Vitamins are great for cell metabolism and DNA synthesis.
In summary, it is possible to care for an arterial ulcer at home, however, it is always suggested to contact a wound care specialist and work in conjunction with them for the best results. When healing this type of wound at home there are special things you can do to help the wound heal quicker, that includes dressing the wound, cleaning the wound, and making certain lifestyle changes to help speed up healing. You can also eat certain vitamins and minerals.
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.