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A wound is a physical injury that disrupts the structure of the body. It may be located on the surface of the skin, under the skin or both. For children being treated for cancer, wounds can be caused by:
It is important to check skin regularly for wounds. Proper wound care helps protect the body from infection and can speed up healing. Signs that wounds or breaks in the skin may be developing include:
As a rule, watch for any changes in the skin. The care team can help, but children and parents know what skin looks like normally.
Call a provider if any of the following occur:
Not all signs that wounds are developing are visible to the naked eye. Additional signs that may indicate the start of a wound or break in the skin include:
Some wounds can take days to develop. Be sure to report any soreness, new pain, or discomfort.
Most wounds heal over time with proper care. But every wound is different. Caring for wounds varies from patient to patient, and over the course of time. Care for each wound as directed by the medical team.
Sometimes, caregivers are asked to help with dressing changes. There are some basic care tips to keep in mind:
Some things to avoid include scratching the wound, putting tape over the wound, and applying baby powder or corn starch, which can feed bacteria.
Be sure to check with the medical team about any home remedies or supplements, as they may increase the chance of infection.
Reviewed: June 2018