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The WOC Skin Health Weekly®, a weekly e-news publication packed with career empowerment resources including the latest clinical, industry, and product news, clinical education, market research, and of course, the most recently posted jobs requiring expertise in the prevention and treatment of skin breakdown and wound care. Over 20,000 clinicians now receive the WOC Skin Health Weekly.

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Featured Articles

  • May 15, 2018

    Nutrition in Patients with Chronic Non-Healing Ulcers: a Paradigm Shift in Wound Care

    Chronic ulcers continue to pose a significant clinical and economic burden for both patients and wound care practitioners. Despite good standard of care (SOC), many wounds fail to heal. Wound healing requires a complex cascade of physiologic and immunologic processes as well as proper nutrition. An adequate balance of macro- and micronutrients is important to support the cellular activities that are necessary for repairing and remodeling of tissue. Despite being well documented in a number of clinical studies there continues to be a gap in recognizing nutritional deficits as well as appropriate clinical interventions in patients with chronic wounds. Read More

    Study Shows Safety, Efficacy of Stem Cells in Treating Angiitis-Induced Critical Limb Ischemia

    A long-term study of patients who received stem cells to treat angiitis-induced critical limb ischemia (AICLI) shows the cells to be both safe and effective. The study, published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), could lead to an option for those who suffer from this serious form of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). AICLI is caused by an inflammation of the blood vessels that leads to a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower or upper extremities. It causes severe pain and impaired mobility, and can even lead to amputation and death. While endovascular and surgical reconstruction are the mainstream treatments for critical limb ischemia (CLI), these classical treatments are unfeasible in approximately 15 to 20 percent of patients. Read More

    HbA1c, Wound Healing Unrelated in Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Among patients with long-term diabetic foot ulcers, neither baseline HbA1c nor change in HbA1c was associated with wound healing time, according to findings from a clinic-based observational study. “Although we know that chronic hyperglycemia leads to neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, which are the proximal risk factors for diabetic foot ulcers, we did not see a clear association between HbA1c levels and wound healing in patients who have developed foot ulcers.” Read More

    Making Sense Out of Quality Measures in Long-Term Care

    What are the quality measures that are most important, he asked — particularly from the perspective of the physical therapist? And if there are options between two interventions, Ciolek asked, how does long-term care work with the government to develop measures that help determine what care is most appropriate, along with educating frontline clinicians to understand and address resident needs? “As clinicians, we may develop a narrow-minded standpoint of looking on with blinders and focusing on the ability of a person to move their legs or walk,” he said. “But the broader perspective is how does that affect their whole quality of life and their ability to function safely wherever they may live? What haven't we addressed?” Read More

  • May 8, 2018

    Flesh-eating Bacteria: Terrifying, but Rare Condition

    The term “flesh-eating bacteria” is misleading since it’s a disease, not a particular bacteria species. The term refers to a condition called “necrotizing fasciitis” (“necrotizing” means that the infection kills cells, and “fasciitis” references the connective tissue in the body that the infection proceeds along). However terrifying, it is fortunately a rare condition. There are only about 1-3 cases per 100,000 people. It may occur in people who are otherwise healthy and who happen to get an injury that penetrates the skin. Read More

    No Link Between HbA1c Levels and Wound Healing in Patients With Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    There does not appear to be an association between baseline and prospective hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels on wound healing in patients diagnosed with diabetic foot ulcers, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers performed a retrospective analysis of an ongoing prospective, clinic-based observational study of patients diagnosed with diabetic foot ulcers being treated at the Johns Hopkins Multidisciplinary Diabetic Foot and Wound Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, over the course of 4.7 years. Read More

    Skin Cancer Symptoms: Four Skin Conditions That Raise Your Risk of Developing the Disease

    SKIN cancer symptoms can include a new mole or a change in an existing mole. UV exposure is the main preventable cause of the disease, and wearing sunscreen can help keep you safe in the sun. But there are four skin conditions that can put you more at risk of developing the disease. Read More

    Leg Ulcers from Venous Insufficiency Heal Faster with Early Ablation

    Good results were seen when venous disease causing leg ulceration was treated with early endovenous ablation of superficial venous reflux as an adjunct to compression therapy, investigators reported. Patients had their leg ulcers heal faster if they got compression therapy and were randomized to endovenous ablation of the reflux within 2 weeks instead of waiting to ablate until after the ulcer was healed or 6 months had passed (healing time 56 days versus 82 days, adjusted HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.73), according to Alun Davies, DSc, of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in England, and colleagues. Read More

  • May 1, 2018

    Ask the Care Expert About...Documentation Terms

    With the updating and changing of the new regulations, many are using a PU/ PI abbreviation. This stands for Pressure Ulcer/ Pressure Injury. Many times the ulcer is really an injury to the skin. Regulations state that a pressure injury is localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device. Read More

    Ditch the Caffeine for a Dose Of Oxygen?

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been clinically proven to help treat serious medical conditions, like carbon monoxide poisoning and severe burns, but a North Texas attorney says it's been his Holy Grail to overcoming a daily struggle that plagues just about everyone: low energy. Dennis Fuller says he's tried everything to clear the brain fog and increase his energy. "I tried mediation. I tried running and exercise to unbelievable degrees," said Fuller. "The stress of my job was just wearing me out." Read More

    Could Probiotics Replace Antibiotics in Wound Healing?

    The microbiome is known to play a major role in gut health, but what about our skin? Billions of bacteria reside there, and the probiotic types may hold great potential to prevent infections during wound healing. When the skin barrier is damaged, these pathogens are ready to make their way into the body to colonize it. This is particularly dangerous if the bacteria in question cause widespread damage to skin or other tissues, and if they are resistant to antibiotics. Read More

    Argyria- A Rare Disease That Turns Your Skin Blue

    Argyria is a rare condition that makes your complexion to turn blue or gray shade. This is caused by the overexposure to silver. When the body is subjected to a large-dose of exposure or prolonged exposure to small amounts of silver, it changes its color to blue. Silver is not always a bad thing for your health. There are many medical uses of silver. It has been used in bandages, salves, and medicines such as eye drops. Read More

  • April 24, 2018

    Far-red Fluorescent Silk can Kill Harmful Bacteria as Biomedical and Environmental Remedy

    A silk hybrid material attacks bacteria when illuminated by a green light, thanks to a far-red fluorescent protein researchers transferred to its genetic makeup. The all-natural material would be safer than conventional photocatalytic, or light-activated, means to kill harmful pathogens such as bacteria, which use potentially biohazardous semiconductors and require cancer-causing ultraviolet light for activation. Read More

    How Virtual Care Technology Can Transform Long-Term Care Facilities

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the senior living industry will need to add 1.2 million employees by 2025 in order to provide adequate care for the growing aging population. Unfortunately, even in 2018, many long-term care facilities do not have enough providers or specialists onsite and/or on call after hours. In these situations, any resident needing immediate medical care (outside of a nurse's scope) is transported to a hospital. This can often negatively impact the individual's health and result in unnecessary costs and penalties to facilities, hospitals, and health plans. Read More

    ABWM is Awarded Re-accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies

    The NCCA re-accredited the American Board of Wound Management CWCA®, CWS®, and CWSP® for a five-year period, expiring April 2023, during its recent meeting. Founded in 1995, the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM) is a professional certification organization acting in the public interest by establishing and enforcing education, examination, experience and ethics requirements for certification. Read More

    New Hope for Treating Diabetic Wounds That Just Won't Heal

    One of the most frustrating and debilitating complications of diabetes is the development of wounds on the foot or lower leg. Once they form, they can persist for months, leading to painful and dangerous infections. New research uncovers the role of a particular protein in maintaining diabetic wounds and suggests that reversing its effects could help aid wound healing in patients with diabetes. Read More

  • April 17, 2018

    Sharp Debridement

    Sharp debridement is a surgical procedure that uses scissors, scalpels and other sharp instruments to cut away or remove infected tissue. It improves the wound's appearance and promotes enhanced healing. The sharp debridement procedure is often used on wounds that show no sign of healing after using other methods. It is also used for patients with deep tissue wounds, infections or connective tissue damage. The sharp debridement method is faster and more efficient in removing damaged or dead tissue. Read More

    Regenerative Wound Dressings Foster Healing

    Group of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, are developing next-generation, sponge-like wound dressings with hyaluronic acid. Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory wound dressings stimulate tissue regeneration and can be especially efficient in treating deep wounds that are difficult to heal. For a deep wound to heal successfully, tissue regeneration is extremely important. Development of next-generation wound dressings that assist this process is one of biggest challenges in tissue engineering. Read More

    Fresh Hypothermically Stored Amniotic Allograft in the Treatment of Chronic Nonhealing Ulcers: A Prospective Case Series

    Amniotic membranes have been used for a variety of surgical applications since the 1900s. Recent developments in the field of chronic wound care have accelerated and expanded their use. To date, there are over 70 amniotic products available, including dehydrated human amnion/chorion and cryopreserved human amnion. The integrity of these grafts, however, may be compromised during processing. Fresh hypothermically stored amniotic allograft (HSAM) may improve healing rates by preserving growth factors and living cells, including stem cells, as well as retaining the membrane’s native structure. Read More

    Virtual Reality Serves As Pain Relief Alternative

    In her virtual reality world, the 6-year-old from Baker City, Oregon, is roaming a cartoonish Wild West town, blasting dodgeballs at teddy bears that pop up from the ground. In the physical world, however, Moira is getting her wound dressing changed. The VR experience is effectively blocking the presence of the surgical scissors that has become her constant source of anxiety. Read More

  • April 10, 2018

    81 Percent of Obese Americans Experience Foot Pain

    An astounding 81 percent of obese Americans say they suffer from foot pain and at times experience multiple foot and ankle conditions, according to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The study surveyed 1,275 US adults, ages 18 and older, to gain information about how many overweight and obese Americans experience foot pain. Read More

    Lower Leg Lymphedema Common After Gyn Surgery

    Approximately 20-40% of women have significant lower-extremity lymphedema after surgery for gynecologic cancer, according to data from the most comprehensive study of the issue to date. The incidence of lymphedema ranged from 18% after surgery for endometrial cancer to 40% in women who had surgery for vulvar cancer. Lymphedema appeared within 6 to 12 weeks after surgery in a majority of cases but had delayed onset of up to 18 months in some cases. Use of a multifactor definition helped distinguish true lower-extremity lymphedema from an increase in leg volume. Read More

    Could less Restrictive Diets in Elderly Patients Improve Health Outcomes?

    Widening food choices in older adults in long-term and post-acute care (PAC) settings may reduce malnutrition and improve quality of life, suggests U.S. industry body. While respecting the need to follow established dietary guidelines for specific medical conditions, the authors suggest that restrictions should be loosened if a patient's oral intake is poor. Care providers should examine the trade-off between the consequences of malnutrition and unintended weight loss (UWL) versus specific disease-related health risks. Read More

    Compression Stockings: How to Choose and Use Them

    Compressions stockings are often the first line of defense when treating varicose veins, but they are used to treat many conditions. Graduated compression stockings assist with proper circulation. The compression is strongest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking. The additional pressure will keep blood from pooling in the legs and reduce swelling. Read More