Nutrition is a vital and often overlooked component of wound healing.
Wounds Canada has teamed up with registered dietitian and wound care advocate Ellen Mackay to offer you guidance on the crucial role of nutrition in wound healing and skin health.
Wound healing is an anabolic process that requires a steady supply of nutrients and fluid to the wound bed. Malnutrition interrupts this healing process and is associated with delayed wound healing, increased risk of infection, prolonged hospital stays and poor health outcomes. Malnutrition is also a culprit in the development of wounds, especially pressure injuries. Not only does malnutrition have a negative impact on the health and quality of life of patients, but also it increases health-care costs and rates of hospital re-admission.
Eating well can help keep your skin healthy, heal your wound and prevent infection. When your body has a wound, you need more calories, protein, fluid and certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc and iron.
Meet Ellen Mackay, RD, MSc, CDE
Ellen is a registered dietitian with a wide range of nutrition interests including diabetes management, wound care, heart health, weight management, enteral nutrition and eating disorders. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia, Dietitians of Canada and is a professional member of the Diabetes Canada and Wounds Canada. She is a member of Wounds Canada's Board of Directors. She holds a clinical instructor position with the Land & Food Systems Faculty at UBC. Ellen received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and her Masters in Human Nutrition from UBC. She works in Diabetes Education with North Shore Chronic Disease Services at Vancouver Coastal Health, where she collaborates with clients to attain their nutrition and health goals.
Read more from Ellen Mackay on the important role nutrition plays in skin health and in wound healing for pressure injuries, diabetic foot ulcers and more: