Chronic wounds present a challenge that is costly in terms of quality of life to the patient and in financial terms for the NHS. Several factors contribute to the development of a chronic wound, in particular the influence of bacteria as a biofilm within the wound environment. Irrigating a wound with normal saline has long been advocated as the most appropriate method of wound irrigation but biofilms are now known to be resistant to this method of cleansing. A small (10 patient) evaluation of the use of Prontosan in patients whose duration of chronic wounds exceeded 1 year has demonstrated that Prontosan wound irrigation and Prontosan gel are an appropriate alternative for cleaning, moistening and decontaminating encrusted, contaminated and chronic skin wounds, and can have a dramatic influence of the quality of life for such patients. This article discusses the cause of chronicity within a wound and discusses in depth three of the ten patients in the evaluation.