Wound healing is a complex and dynamic process that ultimately culminates in a scar. For the most part, everyone’s skin follows the same steps to repair itself after injury. In some cases, genetic and environmental factors can play into the wound healing process, so people may have different experiences. It’s important to be educated about wound healing so that you can tend to your own injuries or those of your children. In this informational article, we will explore some interesting facts about wound healing so that you can be prepared next time you or a loved one is injured.
There are five stages of wound healing
The wound healing process is comprised of four overlapping stages. They are hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and maturation. Hemostasis is marked by blood clotting. Inflammation is characterized by blood vessel dilation and causes redness, heat, pain, and swelling at the wound site, which wards off infection. Proliferation is marked by new tissue regeneration. The final stage, maturation, rearranges the new tissue to create a scar. Because the stages overlap, there is no exact beginning and end to each stage.
Wound healing slows down as we age
As we age, our wounds heal more slowly. This is because skin cells, which are an important part of the wound healing process, age as well and become less effective at their job. As skin cells slow down, their rate of dividing does too. This causes the skin to become thinner, which makes it easier to get injured and makes wounds take longer to fully heal. The longer it takes for a wound to heal, the greater likelihood of infection. Interestingly, although wound healing time is greater, there is less scarring in old age due to decreased skin thickness.
Alcohol shouldn’t be used to clean wounds
There are a lot of misconceptions about wound care that have been passed down through the generations. Using alcohol to clean wounds is one of them. The reason alcohol isn’t a good agent to use in wound care is because it can burn the skin, causing further damage. Rubbing alcohol may actually destroy the healthy cells and tissue that assist in the wound healing process. A better option for cleaning wounds is to place the injury under running water and gently lathering it with soap. Make sure the water isn’t too hot and the soap isn’t too harsh.
Environmental factors can affect wound healing
Apart from aging and other genetic factors, environmental factors such as nutrition, obesity, repeated injury, skin moisture/dryness, chronic illness, medication, and excessive sun exposure can all interfere with the wound healing process. Obesity, for instance, can put a person at greater risk for wound infection, which can delay skin healing and increase scarring. The things we put into our bodies can have a significant impact on the way our body repairs itself. Things like alcohol, nicotine, and certain prescription medications can all influence wound healing in negative ways.
Scars can be treated
Many people know that wounds can be treated, but not a lot of people know that scars can be treated as well. Medical grade silicone gel is a topical solution for post-operative scar treatment that is backed by more than 30 years of clinical evidence supporting its efficacy. Silicone works simply and effectively by creating the perfect balance (homeostasis) of oxygen and moisture at the scar site. This homeostasis signals fibroblasts in the skin to stop producing so much collagen, which has the effect of flattening and reducing the discoloration of scars. Scars continue to heal and mature sometimes for years after the wound has fully healed, so silicone can be used to treat old and new scars. Silicone for scars can be purchased through your physician or online at Biodermis.com.
Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
Biodermis offers custom tailored referral programs designed to simplify and reduce the cost of your patients' post-op care. Additionally, we offer professional pricing if you opt to retail our products. Give us a call at 800.322.3729, and we will be happy to provide additional details on these programs.