3 Causes of Sores That Won’t Heal

If you have sores that won’t heal, it can be a cause of concern. In this article, we’ll show you the main causes of this scary symptom.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic wounds or sores are those that haven’t healed after six weeks.

It’s something that affects a staggering 5.7 million American adults. There are many different causes for this symptom, each of which require a unique care plan.

These range from poor circulation to fluid buildup and even infections. Let’s talk about each of these more in-depth.

Sores That Won’t Heal Because of Poor Circulation

For a wound or sore to heal, proper circulation is required. That’s because whenever an injury occurs, the body transports “support” cells to the affected area.

This helps begin the rebuilding process and ultimately heal the sore. But if you’re experiencing poor circulation, then you dramatically slow down this natural bodily process.

With a slower circulation, it takes longer for support cells to arrive to the damaged site.

Some conditions that can cause poor circulation include obesity, varicose veins, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, and peripheral artery disease.

The good news?

There are things you can do to improve your circulation. It’s recommended that you exercise to improve blood flow, as well as elevate your wounds.

Bottom Line: One of the biggest contributors to slow-healing wounds are problems with circulation.

Fluid Buildup

According to Mayo Clinic, fluid buildup can cause you to experience legions that won’t heal completely.

When fluid leaks into tissue from blood vessels, it’s called edema. This results in a large nodule (bump) that can be painful.

But even worse is the fact that it can make the body’s natural wound healing processes become slow and inefficient.

Since edema causes massive amounts of fluid buildup, the tissue surrounding it can become immovable and rigid. This restricts blood flow and doesn’t allow the wound to heal.

The other bad thing about edema is that you need to take several different medications, including those that people with diabetes take.

Bottom Line: The buildup of fluid in tissues is known as edema. This might be causing your symptom.


wearing a band aid

If you’ve got sores that won’t go away, it just might be an infection you’re experiencing.

Most people don’t realize the affect that bacteria have on the body’s ability to heal.

There are many bacteria known to prevent healthy tissue regeneration. Some do it by extending the length of the body’s inflammatory phase.

Others do it by stopping subsequent stages of tissue healing. In many of these cases, antibiotics are required to kill the bacteria, ultimately allowing the tissue to regrow normally.

Bottom Line: HIV is an infection that causes the body’s immune system to become compromised. There’s no cure but treatments are available.

Vitamin Deficiency and Sores That Won’t Heal

Most people don’t realize that there’s a strong connection between vitamin deficiency and cuts that don’t close. Your skin is a direct reflection of how many vitamins you’re getting.

A deficiency in certain vitamins can cause your skin to become weak, and even prevent tissue from healing normally.

Here are some common vitamin deficiencies that people experience:

  • Vitamin A: If your wounds aren’t healing, it could be because you’re not getting enough vitamin A. For a wound to successfully heal, your body needs to destroy toxic compounds as well as keep inflammation under control. Vitamin A, which is found in leafy greens and dairy products, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. It’s needed to produce collagen, the compound need to make skin cells remain firm and flexible.
  • Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 is needed for healthy red blood cells as well as for energy production. Without it, all functions of the body, including the repair of your skin, will be diminished. This vitamin plays a very important role in keeping your nerves healthy, as well as your DNA. If you don’t get enough, it can lead to premature dementia, as well as depression. Foods that contain a lot of vitamin B-12 include milk, fortified cereals, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
  • Vitamin C: A deficiency in vitamin C can cause a profound and immediate effect on wound healing. If you’ve got sores that won’t heal, it could be that you’re not eating enough spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and citrus fruits. Like vitamin B-12, vitamin C is needed to promote the production of collagen. Collagen is what helps keep your skin together as well as stretchy at the same time. Vitamin C also has a direct effect on immune cells, so you need to get more of it in your system.
  • Vitamin E: The final vitamin we’re going to talk about is vitamin E. Found in foods like avocados, whole grains, and vegetable oils, vitamin E is needed to help heal open wounds. In fact, many animal studies have discovered that animals who didn’t get enough vitamin E took longer to heal their open wounds compared to animals that did get enough. It just goes to show that getting enough vitamin E is very important for overall health. Other foods with this vitamin include leafy greens and wheat germ.

If you’ve got tissue that won’t close, and the doctors can’t figure out what’s going on, try switching up your diet. It’s possible that you’re simply not getting enough vitamins.

Specifically, focus on getting more vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, and Vitamin A. This should promote faster and more efficient wound healing. If it doesn’t, you may need to see a specialist.

Bottom Line: A vitamin deficiency can cause cuts and open sores to heal more slowly. Either supplement or get more from your diet.

Bottom Line

To summarize, an open wound that doesn’t close can be a result of edema (buildup of fluid in the tissue), poor circulation, or an infection.

If you have poor circulation, exercising more could help speed up wound recovery. If it’s an infection, antibiotics will be required.

In very rare cases, sores that won’t heal are caused by HIV (a precursor to AIDS). If you think that you might have HIV, get tested as soon as possible.

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