The effects of defects in and poor functioning of the microcirculation on wound healing, especially in diabetic patients, can be devastating and life changing. As one particular example, Joseph L was a 63-year-old White male with a 24-year history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, elevated cholesterol and arthritis. Joseph had been taking insulin for the past 12 years but his blood sugar levels were still poorly controlled.
On physical exam, Joseph had several very large, oozing and foul smelling deep ulcers located on the dorsum (top) of the left foot. After 8 weeks of intensive therapy utilizing the non-invasive D’OXYVA transdermal deoxyhemoglobin vasodilator, Joseph’s ulcers healed entirely and he avoided amputation of his left foot. Read on to learn more about this new non-invasive wound treatment that helps in wound healing.
What is the microcirculation?
The microcirculation refers to the smallest blood vessels in the body that supply oxygen to the tissues and remove waste products. This includes the arterioles, the venules and the capillaries. When the vessels of the microcirculation become damaged, it leads to decreased blood flow with lower oxygen blood levels and resultant damage to the skin resulting in a wound or ulcer.
Risk Factors for the Creation of Chronic Wounds
Patients with the following risk factors are at greater risk for non-healing wounds or ulcers (ulcers are the most common type of chronic wounds):
- A history of decreased blood flow to a specific area (ischemia)
- A history of uncontrolled diabetes (which leads to poor circulation, nerve damage and breakage of the skin)
- A history of uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
- A history of high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (cholesterol plaques in the arteries)
- A history of blood clots (thrombosis)
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.1 Chronically elevated blood sugar levels damage the microcirculation of the lower extremities, which leads to ischemia and neuropathy (damage to the nerves). Diabetic patients often lose feeling in the feet and so are not aware of friction and pressure, which leads to breaks in the skin. This subsequently leads to open wounds that often do not heal over a 30 day period. These wounds can then become infected, leading to gangrene and eventual amputation.
An Example of a New Non-Invasive Treatment to Enhance Wound Healing
D’OXYVA is a non-invasive transdermal deoxyhemoglobin vasodilator that delivers FDA-approved ultra-purified CO2 molecules which diffuse through the skin leading to increased skin perfusion. In studies of the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers with D’OXYVA, increased diabetic wound healing was observed with wound closure often observed within 5 weeks.
Chronic conditions like uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension can cause damage to the microcirculation, which leads to delayed wound healing. New treatment methods like D’OXYVA deliver transdermal CO2-enhanced oxygen and nutrients to wound areas through the microcirculation. This speeds up wound healing and wound closure and helps avoid devastating complications such as amputations.