Greenville and Washington County Hyperbaric Medicine

Treatment for Non-healing Wounds

A non-healing wound, also called a chronic wound, is one that does not improve within four weeks or heal after eight weeks. A non-healing wound is a dangerous condition that leaves you more susceptible to infection and further injury. They are common problems for people with diabetes, but they can also be related to metabolic diseases, ulcers, and cardiovascular problems.

Symptoms of a non-healing wound include:

  • No signs of improvement in four weeks since the wound occurred
  • Strange odors coming from the wound
  • Pus leaking from the wound
  • Pain that has not diminished
  • Warm sensations on or around the wound
  • Redness and swelling around the wound

Oxygen is a critical component of the body’s healing process. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that exposes a patient to high levels of pure oxygen so that it can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulate the recovery process. Potential candidates are people with diabetes who have lower extremity wounds that are slow to heal; people with wounds that haven’t shown improvement in 4 weeks of treatment; people with certain bone and skin infections; people with radiation injuries; and people with compromised or failing skin grafts or flaps.

How it Works

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a painless and noninvasive treatment. For most chronic wounds, treatment every weekday is sufficient. You should not use any petroleum-based skin or hair products before the exam as these are potential fire hazards. Otherwise, there is not much preparation needed. Most patients spend two hours in the chamber, during which time you will be monitored by the medical team. You may not bring anything in the chamber with you, including books or newspapers. Many patients simply use the time to catch up on some well-deserved rest. When the treatment is over you can resume your normal activities.