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May 22, 2019  
WOUND NEWS: Feature Story

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  • Slow-Healing Wounds

    Slow-Healing Wounds


    September 11, 2008

    By Meredith Fairbank for Wounds1

    A key reason that some wounds heal slowly, according to a study conducted in the UK, is depression and anxiety. This may be due to both the physical effects of depression, on the immune system, as well as secondary psychological effects such as not taking care of oneself.

    Slow-healing wounds, defined as wounds that take at least 6 weeks to heal, were found to occur four times as often in patients who experienced a relatively high (greater than 50% of the population) degree of anxiety and depression. Nearly all the patients with anxiety had slow-healing wounds, and of the depressed patients in the study, all of them were slow to heal.

    Take Action
    Steps you can take to speed the healing of wounds:

    Wash the wound at least twice per day with soap and water

    Gently scrub it to remove dead skin

    Carefully dress the wound with clean bandages twice per day

    Apply aloe vera gel to closed wounds for faster healing

    Eat light, nutritious meals, drink plenty of fresh water

    Get enough rest

    Avoid heavy meals and stress

    Pep up your mood with music, dance, comedy or exercise


    Delayed healing is a good indication that the body is functioning at a low-energy pace. Depression drains the energy level available for your body to do its work. To counteract this, give your body what it needs to heal while being careful not to overload it with additional work. The suggested 3-pronged attack consists of eating well, keeping clean, and maintaining a positive emotional state.

    Healing requires nutritious food and plenty of water: the raw materials out of which your body will build new cells. In addition, you must get enough rest and be careful not to overeat or weigh yourself down with foods that are harder to digest such as meat, cabbage and fatty foods. While you’re healing, eat your favorite light and nutritious meals, soups, and if possible, prepare fresh juices or vegetable purees.

    Additionally, you should carefully clean and dress the wound twice per day, scrub it gently to remove dead skin that may have built up. One effective remedy taken from Mexican folk medicine is to break and topically apply the leaves from the aloe vera plant, which help heal burns, wounds, and eczema.

    Do all you can to lift your spirits, while keeping stress to a minimum: allow yourself to enjoy the present, watch your favorite comedies, find some music you like, recognize how negative thoughts rob you of today, and dance or exercise in place for just five minutes at a time as needed if you aren’t used to being terribly active. These small steps will help your body do its job and you’ll be amazed to find how effective they are.

    Last updated: 11-Sep-08

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