Updated: May 23
If you have an open wound you may need debridement to help the body heal it faster.
Debridement is the removal of any non-viable or dead tissue. There are various methods of debridement some of which must be done by a professionally trained medical clinician to avoid further damage or risking infection.
Regardless not all wounds are appropriate for debridement even if there is dead tissue present. For instance, if you do not have enough blood flow to a gangrene toe, this is NOT something we mess around with.
A splitting stitch, lipo burn, cut or scape might be a wound we can clean up at home since not all debridement is highly skilled or advanced, however knowing when to use each method is.
Some debridement uses sharp medical tools to physically remove the tissue. That’s up to the professionals in a sterilized environment because we are going into deeper tissue which can pose an infection risk.
Other methods use prescription or over-the-counter gels to essentially loosen the dead tissue and assist the body’s own immune response to reveal the healthy tissue underneath. Even using some force to scrub off the dead tissue may work in some cases.
Again, it's not necessarily difficult. It's just knowing when to do what. That is the reason you need to work with a wound specialist clinician. It can save you tons of time, money, and stress overthinking if the right thing is being done or not.
The best method for clearing non-viable tissue is often a combination of methods. What you do at home is always a factor that can either speed things along or prolongs healing.
We do recommend consulting with your surgeon and reaching out to a local wound care center near you. If that is not an option for you but you want input from a certified wound specialist consider booking a personal video consult to improve your current situation while you wait for your in-person appointments
I often find people have a collection of supplies at home since their procedure and it may just be using the right product at the right time that makes all the difference.