Mayo Clinic Health System promotes moist wound healing - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Mayo Clinic Health System promotes moist wound healing


Menomonie (Press Release) - For more than 50 years, the discipline of wound management has been aware of the fact that moist wounds heal faster and with a lower rate of infection compared to dry wounds.

Even though we continue to hear "let it dry," or "leave it open to air," Luke Wachewicz, physical therapist and certified wound specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Cedar, stresses to his patients that moist wound healing is important. Moist healing allows the cells of a wound to function effectively and is less painful than dry wounds.

"Patients often don't realize that dry wounds slow down cellular activity, which delays healing," says Wachewicz. "Scabs physically get in the way of skin trying to grow across a wound. Dry wounds are a great food source for bacteria that cause infection and they are not as effective as moist healing."

Wachewicz stresses that if you acquire a wound you should do the following:

  • Cleanse the wound with water. Do not use hydrogen peroxide to cleanse wounds; it kills good cells.
  • Use bandages. They are a simple, widely available and affordable.
  • Watch for foul odor, streaks of redness, a mild fever and/or puss drainage as potential signs of infection.  A singular sign, such as redness that is often the product of inflammation, is not as concerning as a cluster of signs.
  • Avoid getting the wound too wet. If the surrounding tissue is turning white, it may indicate an early sign of tissue break down. To solve this problem, air dry the wound during dressing changes, change the dressing more often or cut small holes in the back of the dressing to promote evaporation.
  • Change the dressing if it is dirty, damp or damaged.
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