Impairments to Healing

Exploring How Patients Influence Wound Healing

Understanding the intricate factors that influence wound healing is essential for effective medical care. Numerous patient-related variables can significantly impact the healing process, ranging from age-related changes to lifestyle factors such as obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition. Among these factors, diabetes presents particular challenges due to its effects on circulation, inflammation, and immune function. By comprehensively examining these underlying patient factors, healthcare providers can tailor treatment approaches to optimize wound healing outcomes and mitigate potential complications.

Patient Factors That Inhibit Wound Healing

The Physician’s role is to optimize conditions for the body’s natural healing mechanisms.



Aging can slow down the overall healing process because of thinning of the epidermis(increased risk of tearing and shearing), decrease in elastin dermis atrophies and because of the skins increased susceptibility to bacterial growth and infections.



Excess body weight can contribute to poor wound healing. Obesity is associated with inflammation, impaired circulation, and an increased risk of complications such as infection.




Peripheral Vascular Impairment



Individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing chronic wounds, and their wounds tend to heal more slowly because of the following potential factors:

  • Poor circulation – Diabetes can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD) and atherosclerosis, reducing blood flow to extremities. Poor circulation impairs the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the wound site, hindering the healing process
  • Chronic inflammation – can further impede the healing process. Inflammation is a crucial part of wound healing, but chronic, uncontrolled inflammation can lead to tissue damage and delayed healing.
  • Delayed Angiogenesis – Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for supplying nutrients to healing tissue. Diabetes can delay angiogenesis, contributing to prolonged wound healing.
  • Neuropathy
  • Impaired immunce function
  • High blood sugar levels


Smoking can negatively impact wound healing by causing vasoconstriction (reduced blood flow), impairing oxygen delivery to tissues, and increasing the risk of infection.



The derangements of the inflammatory response in the presence of alcohol consumption adversely affect the process of wound healing.


Poor Nutrition

When a person is malnourished the body lacks sufficient nutrients to build, maintain and repair tissue, which can result in reduced fatty tissue, less resistant skin, oedema, and other potential complications that interfere with healing. Additionally, suboptimal nutrition can impair the healing process by interfering with the immune system, collagen synthesis as well as wound tensile strength.



Certain medications can interfere with the healing process.

  • Steroids
  • cytotoxic antineoplastic and immunosuppressive agents
  • corticosteroids
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and anticoagulants

Key Nutrients Required in the Healing Process

It is very important to collaborate with your Medical Team before assuming a supplement regime.


Protein is crucial for the synthesis of collagen and other structural proteins in the body. It plays a vital role in the formation of new tissue and helps in wound closure. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, which is a key component of connective tissue and helps in wound healing. It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for the formation and maintenance of healthy skin. It supports the epithelialization process, which is crucial for wound closure. Sources of vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and dairy products.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from oxidative stress. It supports immune function and aids in the healing process. Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables are good sources of vitamin E.


Zinc is involved in various aspects of wound healing, including collagen synthesis and immune function. It plays a role in cell proliferation and tissue repair. Dietary sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.


Iron is essential for oxygen transport and is involved in the formation of hemoglobin. Adequate oxygenation is crucial for the healing process. Red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, and fortified cereals are good sources of iron.


Copper is a cofactor for enzymes involved in collagen synthesis and cross-linking. It plays a role in the integrity of connective tissue. Dietary sources of copper include organ meats, seafood, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting, which is essential in the early stages of wound healing. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soybean oil are good sources of vitamin K.