Medical Q&As

Wound - not healing?

I have had a 10x15cm, infected protruding wound with no signs of new skin forming for over four months. My GP has given me antibiotics four times but despite the wound being dressed 3 times daily, it just becomes reinfected about a week after stopping the antibiotics. My GP has said there's no more he can do but I can't cope with having to dress the wound 3 times a day indefinitely. Is there anything else I can do? I've used three types of medicated dressings already but they didn't help as I have sensitive skin and was allergic to them.

A 10x15 cm. wound is a significant defect in the skin and four months is a very long time for healing to take place. You don’t say where the wound is located and what the general condition of the surrounding skin is like. For example if this defect was near the ankle and you had varicose veins then the skin nutrition could be poor and this could slow down the healing process. Such defects in the skin can be very slow to heal. You also say that the wound is protruding. This sounds to me like granulation tissue or “proud flesh”, which can be considered to be a faulty form of healing. This situation is not satisfactory and it is not an acceptable solution that you keep dressing the wound in perpetuity. You should discuss with your GP the possibility of seeing a specialist in order to have the benefit of a second opinion. It may be necessary for the wound to be debrided, which means removing any unhealthy tissue and also involves the removal of any granulation tissue that has accumulated. Skin grafting may also be an option. Regular dressings and occasional courses of antibiotics are unlikely to progress matters further considering the fact that this has been pursued without success for the past four months.