Topical oxygen therapy—hocus pocus or science?
The concept of topical oxygen therapy is not a new concept. Like most providers, the concept of ‘the foot in a bag of oxygen’ to improve healing seemed like ‘hocus pocus’ and was not taken seriously. It was not until very convincing scientific studies supported the concept of topical oxygen therapy that I was willing to reconsider my position. Based on the scientific studies I initially used the therapy on very large chronic, painful wounds. The results were very impressive for, not only, healing wounds, but decreasing the pain associated with these large wounds.
It is accepted that oxygen is of paramount importance to collagen formation, granulation, angiogenesis and epithelialization, and also plays an important role in controlling bacteria. Hypoxia at the level of the wound can interfere with the healing process. Studies also support that chronic wounds may have focal ischemia.1 The question was whether or not topical oxygen could increase oxygen tension in the wound supporting the important functions of oxygen in wound healing.
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