Wound care has come a long way. And with thousands of informed patients across the country sharing their knowledge, we’re thrilled to see many of these old-timey myths go away.

Here are five myths that refuse to die:

1. Wet-to-dry dressings are cheaper to use

Wet-to-dry dressings is substandard care, and not cost-effective. Average cost is $12.26 and requires frequent daily changes. In order for a wound to heal, it needs to be close to normal body temperature. Every time a dressing is changed the temperature drops and the healing stops. It takes up to four hours for the wound to warm up to resume healing.

2. Bleeding in a chronic wound is a sign of healing

“Oh, it’s bleeding. That’s good.” No, it’s not good. Sanguineous (bloody) exudate is a sign to further investigate what is causing the bleeding.

3. Erythema is a sure sign of wound infection

Erythema in the periwound is one of the classic signs of local infection, but it’s not a sure sign that the wound is infected. In order to tell that you have infection locally (within the wound bed) you would need to see at least three signs or symptoms of infection and, if so, immediately treat the wound topically.

4. Oral or IV antibiotics are indicated for all infected wounds

Only administer oral or IV antibiotics if infection extends beyond the wound margin, indicating a systemic infection.

5. Clinicians are not responsible if a physician orders inappropriate treatment

It’s our responsibility to follow the standards of care. If physicians are unaware of the guidelines or policies, we need to educate them.