Seven tips to protect your skin from common summertime wounds
If you do get injured, St. Joseph’s/Candler has three wound care centers around the region
It’s very likely that you will spend a lot of time outdoors this summer, despite the heat. We love our gardens, our beaches and family cookouts.
It’s also a possibility that you could suffer a common summertime wound. This is especially true for people with diabetes who’ve lost sensation in their feet or the elderly who have thinning skin.
When skin is broken or compromised by a bug bite, burn or cut, germs can enter the body. Open wounds, even a small bug bite, could become infected and cause serious complications.
Shandresa Moore is the clinical nurse manager for the Center for Hyperbarics and Wound Care at Candler Hospital. She’s seen wounds increase in the summertime because we are outside more. Many can be prevented.
Follow these seven tips to try to prevent a wound:
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors
- Use bug spray
- Apply sun block regularly and limit sun exposure to prevent sunburns
- Wear appropriate shoes and try not to go barefoot on hot surfaces, including sandy beaches
- If you have a history of falls or dizziness be sure to have supportive equipment when walking around
- Consider derma savers, a padding-like material that can protect thin skin
- Check your legs and feet often for cuts and scrapes
“Especially if you have diabetes, you should look at your feet every day and make sure there are no sores,” Moore says. “If your feet tend to sweat from work shoes or any sock and shoe, and you don’t look at your feet every day, that moisture can invade the tissues and cause a laceration which can lead to a wound. If you are not paying attention it can get worse and worse and the next thing you know you have a gaping hole in the bottom of your foot or worse, need a toe amputated.”
If you do get injured, we are here to help
While we hope nothing serious enough for amputation ever happens to you, we know that wounds happen. Most heal fairly quickly, but if you do suffer from a wound, St. Joseph’s/Candler has three specialized wound care centers around the region to help – in Savannah, Hinesville and Bluffton, S.C.
“We are an advanced wound care provider. We have learned that when you start getting ulcers or wounds that are not healing up, there may be some other issue that is going on, that is hindering that wound from healing,” Moore explains. “We get patients here and determine what is going on with that patient from day 1.”
Our wound care team, which consists of nurses and doctors who are specialty trained in wound care and hyperbarics, does more than bandage or wrap a wound. They look at underlying issues why a wound may not be healing, such as blood flow, compression and inappropriate shoes or even how you sleep.
Then we have numerous ways to treat the wound and address the underlying cause of lack of healing. This hopefully prevents future wounds or helps treat wounds quicker if one does occur again.
So if you experience a wound this summer, or anytime, talk to your physician about a referral or give one of our wound care centers a call.
“We are here to treat patients in a timely fashion so they can get back to living their life,” Moore says. “That’s what we foster here at the wound care center.”
For more information or to contact one of our Centers for Hyperbarics and Wound Care, visit our website.