Wounds can develop, even if someone has received the best of care. The important thing is to consult a GP or nurse as soon as you see a wound beginning to develop.

For a superficial wound, treatment consists of alleviating pressure to avoid more exposure to the cause of the injury. Soft protective pads and cushions are often used for this purpose. Increased hydration and nutrition is important.

If the wound is more developed (a blister either broken or unbroken) the goal of care is to cover, protect, and clean the area. There are a wide variety of products for this purpose. Skin lotions and barrier creams are used to hydrate surrounding tissue and prevent the wound from worsening. Padding and protective items are used to absorb and decrease pressure on the area. Close attention to protection, nutrition, and hydration is important.

At the next stage, the wound extends through all the layers of skin. It is a site for infection. The goals of alleviating pressure and covering and protecting the wound still apply, but with an increased emphasis on nutrition and hydration. Medical intervention is critical. This type of wound will progress to the next stage very rapidly. Infection is a real concern. Pain, particularly as dressings are changed, is a significant issue.

A more severe wound, where the wound extends through the skin and involves underlying muscle, tendons and bone, is very serious and can produce a life-threatening infection, especially if not aggressively treated. All of the goals of protecting, cleaning and alleviation of pressure on the area still apply, and nutrition and hydration are critical. Medical intervention is absolutely essential.

I noticed an odour in the wound while changing a dressing. Is this significant?

Wound odour and drainage can occur and can have a negative psychological effect on the person with MS and the caregiver. The problem can be addressed by using an antibacterial wound cleanser, removing non-living tissue from the wound, and changing the dressing more frequently. Because excessive drainage can contribute to further deterioration of the wound, consultation with a wound specialist is advised. 

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