Slow Healing Of Wounds

Slow of healing wounds can have many causes. Sometimes it is a problem of local wound condition (e.g. bacterial infection), but sometimes impaired wound healing is due to overall pathological conditions and metabolic disorders. Slow wound healing increases the risk of keloid scars.

Local causes

Wound infections

Wound infection (commonly bacterial) that is usually associated with local redness, pain and purulent discharge, slows wound healing and sometimes makes it completely impossible. Surgical wound care is often necessary; the wound must be cleansed under antibiotic cover.

Irritation of the wound site

Excessive load of the wound site impairs adhesion and growth of new tissue. It is quite logical that injured body part must remain calm and without physical overstraining.

Lack of moisture

It has been shown that excessive exposure of wound to air is not very appropriate and moist wound is preferred. The secretion from the wound moistens surroundings, facilitates healing and has antibacterial effect. Dry skin has overall worse healing ability.

General causes


Patients with diabetes generally have tendency to slower healing of wounds. It is due to impaired blood supply to the affected tissues caused by increased atherosclerosis of small arteries. Higher blood sugar is also accompanied by risk of bacterial infections.


Insufficient nutrition has of course an impact on delayed wound healing. Lack of building material for formation of new tissues (especially protein deficiency) is the main problem.

Lack of vitamins and minerals

Newly formed tissue needs many vitamins. Especially the lack of vitamin C is reflected in the delayed healing of wounds. Some minerals can also contribute to the problem such a zinc and silicon deficiency.


With advancing age the ability to regenerate damaged tissues and organs is generally impaired including slower wound healing.


Excessive layers of subcutaneous fat leads to poorer wound healing. It is probably due to inferior quality of fat tissue blood supply and its overall low healing abilities.

Oncologic diseases

Particularly spread malignant tumors lead to reduction of healing processes in two main ways. When there is a widespread tumor process in the body, excessively strong inflammatory reaction occurs that inhibits healing and formation of new tissues. In addition, the tumor usually causes weight loss and protein deficiency.


Many immunosuppressive drugs disrupting natural process of inflammation may impair wound healing. Perhaps the best examples are corticosteroids.

Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources