Affordable ways to treat chronic wounds

Moshe Lichtenstein educates us on the common types of chronic wounds in South Africa and affordable ways to treat them.

What is a chronic wound?

A chronic wound is a wound that doesn’t heal in an orderly set of stages and in a predictable amount of time as most wounds do. As such, a wound is considered chronic when it doesn’t heal within three months.

Common chronic wounds and how they are treated medically

Diabetic foot ulcers

An open sore or wound that occurs in patients living with diabetes caused by poor blood supply. Commonly located on the bottom of the foot. To support the healing process, use wet wound healing dressings with more absorption.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), about 1 826 100 cases of diabetes were recorded in South Africa in 2017.

Venous leg ulcers 

A wound on the leg or ankle caused by abnormal or damaged veins where blood is not sufficiently returned to the heart. Compression therapy is an essential part of treating this type of wound by gently applying pressure to the ankles and legs to increase blood flow by wearing specifically designed stockings.

Pressure injuries

A localised injury to the skin and underlying tissue, usually over a bony part of the body. This type of ulcer is the result of pressure, or pressure in combination with a cut. A silver-releasing dressing can help prevent or resolve wound infection.

Traumatic wounds

An injury that causes a break in the skin and sometimes the tissue. Wound cleansing with clean water or antiseptics can be helpful to fast-track the healing of this wound.


While these medical treatments have been a solution for many years, medical innovations that use skin grafts are fast becoming a new wave treatment for large wounds that can’t close on their own. This gives patients another option to treat chronic wounds.

To close the gap in alternative wound care management, ActiGraft introduced an autologous biologic wound care product in South Africa.

This treatment uses patients’ own blood clots to permanently heal chronic wounds in a shorter period. The blood clotting preparations take approximately 15 minutes, while wound dressing takes five minutes less. Depending on the size of the wound, it takes 5–10 weeks for the wound to heal completely.

This article was written by Moshe Lichtenstein, Medical Solutions Pioneer and Founder of One Eight Innovation.

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