This question was answered on Sat 19, Apr 2008 12:04pm by Dr Bobby V, MD

A sore on my left knee that won't heal and go away.

Asked by Unregistered on Sat 19, Apr 2008 08:13am

I have a quarter sized "sore" on my left knee. This "sore" started out being a rug burn that covered an area about 3 inches in diameter. It all healed normally until it got down to the present size. It has been 3 months since it has stalled it's healing and has remained this size. To make this even more difficult it is covered by a "scab" that isn't like any I have seen before. -It's chalky, white and powdery when touched. -It does not hurt or itch. -I scrub it when I shower and had kept neosporin with a bandaid on it for 2 weeks, yet it hasn't changed, for the better or worse in 3 months. -To my knowledge I have no medical issues that would prevent the natural healing of my body. -I feel healthy other than this, I have no known medical issues. What can it possibly be and what can I do to get rid of it now that the warmer weather is here I don't want to have to keep and bandaid on it 24/7.

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Answer by Dr Bobby V, MD  on Sat 19, Apr 2008 12:04pm:

Hi, Your friction burn has almost healed, except for the central portion, and that is causing you worry. Well, it appears to me that you may be "over-treating" it, with daily scrub, neosporin use, and band-aid application. This may be preventing and hindering the natural healing process. Any wound in the body heals by formation of scar tissue. Cells migrate to the wounded area, and lay a new meshwork of blood vessels, stromal connective tissue, and skin. The layer of skin laid by the healing tissue is initially very fragile, and may consist of only one or a few layers of cells. This later matures to form the fully healed natural skin. If you scrub down your knee "sore" daily while taking a shower, you may actually be removing layers of the healing skin tissue. This has lead to chronic "sore" formation. If your knee is not infected, then it would be a good idea to just leave it alone. Do not scrub it vigorously, although you may dab it with cool clean water containing a mild antiseptic. Do not apply ointments or band-aid if it is not infected. Do not touch it needlessly. Avoid clothes rubbing on it. If you notice any pus, discharge, or bleed, pl consult your doctor. You have mentioned that you do not have any other medical issues. That is good, because minor wounds may take a longer time to heal in patients with diabetes.
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Follow up:

Clarification by arguijo on Sat 19, Apr 2008 02:22pm:
I appreciate your response, but the "over-treating" the sore came after two and a half months of it not healing on it's own. I just recently started treating it with vigorous scrubs and neosporin. I had surgery on my wrst last summer and that healed enough for me to have full normal use of it in about 6 weeks, yet this simple sore won't finish the last 10% of it's healing process. Even though I do feel as though I did exactly what your advice instructs me to do to the point that I believe it will not work (2 months...), I will try it again. But how long should it take? I've never had anything like this that wasn't completely healed in a matter of a couple of weeks. Thank you.
Request for Clarification by Dr Bobby V, MD on Sat 19, Apr 2008 09:52pm:
Hi, The non-healed portion of the wound is non-painful, non-itchy, and is "chalky, powdery" to touch. All these point towards a chronic, non-infective process, where the skin is unable to heal normally. As we age, the body's reparative processes slow down. A person in the thirties, for instance, may not recover as swiftly as she used to as a teenager. In any case, vigorous scrubbing of your recovering wound is more likely to harm you than help you. Be patient.
Clarification by arguijo on Sun 20, Apr 2008 12:44pm:
Fine.... I think maybe my level of patience isn't what it used to be either. Thank you


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