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8 factors that make your wounds heal slowly

Did you know certain drugs and medications, diabetes, obesity, among others, can drastically slow down your body's wound healing mechanisms? Here's how.

Written by Anuradha Varanasi | Updated : April 5, 2016 10:32 AM IST

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8 Factors That Can Affect The Wound Healing Process

If you're recovering from a surgery or an injury you sustained recently, there are several factors that can interfere with your body's wound healing abilities. Here's what you need to know if you want to recover faster.

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Diabetes

Diabetes: Diabetics are at the highest risk of impaired wound healing [1]. Studies have also found that nearly 15% of diabetics are at the risk of chronic non-healing foot ulcers due to a slower wound healing process.  Also Read - 7 Steps To Improve Your Mental Fitness

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Medications

Certain medications: Several medications can interfere with clot formation, your body’s inflammatory responses and platelet functioning and this can drastically affect the wound healing process. Systemic steroids or glucocorticoids which are used as anti-inflammatory agents are known to cause this side-effect. For that matter, even ibuprofen has been found to slow down the wound healing process [2]. Even chemotherapy drugs can slow down your body’s healing mechanisms.

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Obesity

Obesity: Not only does obesity increase your risk of suffering from coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and a host of other ailments, but it can also slow down your skin’s healing process [3]. Studies have also found that obese patients undergoing bariatric surgeries and even non-bariatric operations are at a higher risk of wound complications.  Also Read - Chicory: Health Benefits, Uses And Side Effects Of Kasani

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Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption: Alcohol not only impairs the wound healing process but it also increases the incidence of infection [4]. This is because ethanol exposure results in slower wound clotting and excessive alcohol consumption also influences collagen production and tissue restoration.

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Smoking

Smoking: Studies have found that as compared to non-smokers, smokers have a longer hospital stay post surgeries due to delays in wound healing and an increase in complications such as infections and even the wound rupturing [5]. Other than this, smoking also causes a decrease in the tensile strength of your skin tissues.  Also Read - Y Chromosome Might Vanish One Day: What It Could Mean For Men?

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Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition: Your body desperately needs carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, fats and vitamins C and E, magnesium, copper, zinc, arginine and iron to heal in time after you’ve sustained an injury or a wound [6]. If your nutritional needs aren’t being met adequately, it will drastically slow down the wound healing process.

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Stress And Anxiety

Stress: If you’re extremely stressed out and anxious, chances are you will take much longer to recover from any kind of injury or wound [7]. Various studies have linked high stress levels to slower recovery from a recent physical trauma or injury. Try to take up an activity that helps in relaxes your mind for healing faster. Also Read - World AIDS Day 2022: Advancements In The Treatment Of HIV/AIDS

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Age

Age: People over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of impaired wound healing. Studies have also found that senior citizens also have a lower quality of wound healing, as compared to younger individuals, due to an altered inflammatory response [8].