An overview of chronic wound characteristics.
Often accompanied by history of recurrence; almost always accompanied by connective tissue disease and systematic inflammatory conditions
Location and Depth
Below malleolus-foot dorsum; shallow in depth
Wound Bed and Wound Appearance
Typically arise from small reddened areas that continue to increase in size; necrotic with marked vascularity; wound bed contains mixed necrotic and red granulation tissue
Exudate amount varies
Wound Shape and Margins
Irregular, blistering edge; purple-red, hemorrhagic, “angry looking” intense surrounding erythema
Hyperemic; characterized by atrophie blanche, livedo reticularis, and purpura; often accompanied by hyperpigmentation
Often accompanied by severe pain at rest, numbness, paresthesias
Must control the inflammatory process and establish adequate circulation to heal
Photo: Baranoski S, Ayello E. Wound Care Essentials: Practice Principles. Springhouse, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.