Why is it difficult for the elderly to heal their wounds?

   poor repair ability, weak regeneration ability

   Wang Xiaoying, Director of Nursing Department, Aviation General Hospital of China Medical University

   Many elderly people in the clinic often say: “When you get old, your body ages like a machine, and the wounds are harder to heal than in the past!” Is this really the case? This issue will take you to find out.

  Wound healing refers to a series of pathophysiological processes in which local tissues undergo regeneration, repair, and reconstruction after tissue injury caused by the action of injury-causing factors. There are several factors that affect wound healing: 1. Age: the older the age, the worse the tissue regeneration and repair ability, and the slower the wound healing; 2. Nutrition: tissue regeneration and repair require a certain amount of nutrition. When the elderly are malnourished (protein, vitamins, trace amounts) Insufficiency of elements) or poor appetite and low food intake, it cannot provide the tissues with required nutrition or certain nutrients, which will delay wound healing; 3. Diseases: such as diabetes, hypoproteinemia, anemia, autoimmune diseases , Tumors, etc.; 4. Drugs: anticoagulants, immunosuppressants, cytostatics, hormones, etc. can inhibit cell proliferation and affect tissue repair; 5. Psychology: long-term tension, depression, anxiety in the elderly, neuroendocrine system disorders will affect the body Immune system, which indirectly affects wound healing; 6. Temperature and humidity: the higher the local temperature of the wound, the greater the humidity, the more susceptible to infection. The temperature is lower than 28℃, and the tissue regeneration ability will decrease, which will also affect wound healing. The drier the local wound. The less likely it is to regenerate tissues; 7. Infection: Too much inflammation in local tissues can easily cause tissue cell necrosis and hinder wound healing.

  How to prevent and solve the distress caused to the elderly by wounds that are difficult to heal? First of all, we must focus on prevention. Intact skin is the first line of defense against infection and external environmental trauma. The stratum corneum of the elderly skin becomes thinner, the skin becomes dry and brittle, and even has dryness, which can lead to itching, chapped, scaly peeling, etc., which can easily cause skin damage and infection. It is recommended that you take a bath no more than 3 times a week, and you should use warm water, and use less irritating cleaning products such as soap. After bathing, use oil-based ointment skin care products to ensure that the skin is moisturized and do daily skin self-checks.

  Secondly, actively treat the primary disease to prevent complications from causing wounds. For example, reasonable blood sugar control to prevent diabetic feet; good management of incontinence to prevent incontinent dermatitis; caregivers who cannot take care of themselves, the caregiver needs to assist in turning over every 2 hours to prevent pressure sores; unexplained swelling of lower limbs, intermittent claudication or Patients with resting pain should seek medical attention in time and be alert for leg ulcers.

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