Friday, February 24, 2017

Helping Skin Help Itself

Compounding for Wound Care

The skin is the body’s largest organ (making up about 10% of the body’s weight) and is our first line of defense in protecting us from the environment. Our skin provides us with protection, sensation, temperature regulation, metabolism, ability to discharge some waste from the blood, tissues and organs and directly impacts our appearance.

Since the skin is the outer covering of the body, it is subject to injury sometimes resulting in wounds as in the case of cuts, scrapes, bruises, skin ulcers, etc. The wound healing process is a complex series of events lasting from the moment of injury to healing and may involve months to years. Every wound goes through several stages of healing. The rate at which a wound heals depends on its type and severity . Individual factors such as age and underlying medical conditions also play a role, as do lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol use.

The skin generally has the ability to heal itself, but if the wound is serious or becomes infected, medical assistance is sometimes required. 
Common wounds that may require medical intervention include bedsores or pressure sores , which are a result of prolonged pressure over bony areas which cause depleted blood supply and poor tissue nutrition. 

Similarly, skin ulcers can occur in diabetic patients. The ulcers, usually located on the feet, are the result of a combination of nerve damage and impaired blood circulation that are frequently associated with chronic diabetes.

There are many other types of wounds, all of which can lead to possible serious complications.

Wound care treatment involves several approaches and medications. Understanding the healing process and the type of wound is necessary to determine the proper medical treatment. Some of the medications are designed with the goal of stimulating new tissue growth, reducing pain, and discouraging bacterial overgrowth. Other medications are designed to increase blood flow to the wound and are applied to the skin that borders the wound.

Wound care medications can be incorporated into the dosage form best suited for each patient and the particular wound.  Creams, water-washable gels, barrier creating ointments, and even powders are just a few of the dosage forms used.

Live & Learn Compounding Pharmacy works closely with the patient’s physician and other members of the health care team to discuss the appropriate medication and dosage form for each individual.