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When to Seek Medical Care for Your Wound

When to Seek Medical Care for Your Wound

It’s true that time heals wounds, but some need a little professional help. If you have a cut or wound that doesn’t start healing within two weeks or fully heal within four weeks, you need to seek medical care. If you have diabetes, don’t wait. You need medical care right away.

At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, our medical director Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, and her team of primary care providers treat all types of wounds. We know that without proper care, a wound can lead to a serious infection.

In this month’s blog, we talk about wounds and when you need expert care to support your healing.

About your wound

A wound is any break in your skin and includes scrapes, dog bites, burns, and surgical incisions. Your skin protects the internal parts of your body from outside invaders and germs. Any break or opening in your skin leaves you vulnerable to those outside elements and the health problems they may cause.

Wounds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and superficial, while others are large and deep. Because a break in your skin increases your risk of infection, your body works quickly to close wounds. Many wounds heal without expert medical help, but some need professional wound care. 

Getting professional wound care

If you’re in good health and have a small cut or scrape, you can care for your wound at home. But you may need to seek medical care for your wound if:

You need immediate wound care if your cut is deep, large, or has jagged edges. You should also seek expert wound care right away if your wound is dirty, meaning it came in contact with germs — for example, a dog bite, rusty nail, or bad fall onto loose gravel. 

We also recommend getting wound care immediately if you have diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing a serious infection from a wound due to poor circulation and elevated blood sugars.

Help for healing

The type of medical care you need for your wound depends on the severity of your injury and your medical history. We start by evaluating your wound and taking samples of tissue or drainage to test for infections.

We clean your wound and remove any dead tissue (debride) and stitch your wound closed when needed to support healing. We cover your wound with a bandage and provide guidelines on how to care for your injury at home. If your wound is infected, we prescribe an antibiotic. We may also update your tetanus vaccine. 

You may need to come back to our office regularly so we can monitor your healing and continue to clean and dress your wound. We may refer you to a wound care center for additional treatments like hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). 

We also recommend eating a balanced diet that emphasizes protein-rich foods like lean meats and beans so your body gets the nutrition it needs to heal. However, even with expert care, some wounds can take months to heal.

If you have concerns about a wound, don’t wait to get help. Book an appointment online or over the phone today with our compassionate team at MS Family Medicine.

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