Healing Process: Understanding the factors that affect wound healing

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Healing Process: Understanding the factors that affect wound healing

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Agencies

Healing Process: Understanding the factors that affect wound healing

While getting injured is not something you have control over, ensuring proper wound healing is definitely in your hands, with the help of Hansaplast. Inadequate wound healing will not only cause pain and irritation in the injured area but can also lead to something as severe as gangrene. Gangrene refers to the death of body tissue that is caused by a lack of blood flow or a serious bacterial infection. You must take proper care of your wound as directed by your doctor and ensure that no factor interferes with the process of wound healing. In this blog, let's learn about wound healing, factors affecting it, and tips that can help promote the wound healing process.

Overview of Wound Healing:

Wounds are an opening or cut in the skin that can result from a sharp object coming in contact to your skin. A person may get a large scrape or abrasion caused by an accident, trauma, or fall. Our bodies have a complex system heal wounds, and each of its stages contributes to better wound healing. Generally, it takes about 3 months to heal a normal wound, whereas it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a surgical cut to heal. Let’s take you through the different phases of wound healing.

Phase 1: Stop the bleeding (hemostasis)

When you first get a cut or a scratch on your skin, it usually starts bleeding. The first phase includes stopping the bleeding. In this phase of the wound healing process, you will need products like the Hansaplast My Handy Kit for immediate first aid on a deep cut. However, for minor cuts, you can simply use the Washproof Plaster over the wounded area. Blood clotting begins to occur seconds to minutes after you get a wound. This helps in preventing blood loss and helps to close and heal the wound, eventually forming a scab.

Phase 2: Scabbing over (clotting)

This wound healing phase comprises of three steps:

1.    Blood vessels around the wounded area begin to narrow, thereby helping to stop the bleeding.
2.    Platelets (the cells that aid in clotting the blood) clump together to make a plug in the wound.
3.    Clotting includes fibrin, a protein that is the blue glue that makes a net to hold the platelet plug in place. This is the scab on your wound.
Once your wound stops bleeding, the body begins to clean and heal it.

Phase 3: Rebuilding (growth and proliferative)

Your body is able to start healing the wound once it is clean and stable. Red blood cells rich in oxygen travel to the site to form new tissue. It is similar to a construction site, except that your body creates its materials.

Chemical signals in your body instruct the cells surrounding the wound to produce elastic tissues known as collagen. This aids in the repair of the wound's skin and tissues. Collagen acts as a scaffold upon which other cells can be built. You may notice a new, elevated, red scar at this stage of healing. The scar will gradually fade in colour and appear flatter.

Phase 4: Maturation

Even if your wound appears to be closed and repaired, it continues to heal. It may appear pink, stretched, or puckered. You may experience itching or tightness in the affected area. This means your body is still repairing and strengthening the affected area.

Factors Affecting Wound Healing:

When it comes to wound care, various factors affect wound healing. Let’s learn about the different factors of wound healing and their impacts.

1.    Age: Individuals aged 60 and up (seniors) are more likely to have delayed wound healing. Age-related factors such as psychological stress, intake of medicines, immobilisation, and comorbidities like diabetes and peripheral artery disease all have the potential to slow wound healing in elderly individuals. Skin becomes thinner, and the body's inflammatory response decreases with age, which makes your body's skin wound healing process slow down.

2.    Medications: Certain medications can have a negative impact on your wound healing. In case you are taking any prescribed medications and get injured; you must let your doctor know about your situation to create a treatment plan accordingly. Drugs for arthritis and medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin can interfere with the inflammation phase of the wound healing process.

3.    Nutrition: When it comes to nutrition, you must understand that everything that goes inside your body will either help you or harm you. If you want faster wound healing and want to avoid turning acute wounds into chronic wounds, you must consume nutritious foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with healthy fats and fibre. Ensure that your diet provides you with enough essential nutrients for your wound to heal faster.

4.    Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking is not just bad for overall health but also inhibits wound healing time. Excess alcoholism slows down the wound healing process.

5.    Weight: Problems like obesity, which is caused by excess body fat, can hamper your body’s ability to heal wounds. This can eventually increase your risk of infection. Excess body fat can lead to poor blood circulation, which can slow the process of wound healing.
 
Tips to Promote Wound Healing:

No one likes to feel the pain or irritation of a wound. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a few tips to promote the wound healing process.

1.    Promote Nutrition: For your wounds to heal faster, you need to consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Consult a nutritionist for a diet plan and religiously stick to it. Keep yourself hydrated, as it will improve tissue healing.

2.    Consult a healthcare provider: This will help you understand how blood pressure, blood glucose levels, medications, etc. can affect your wound healing. Your health professional will suggest a treatment plan based on the factors that might potentially affect the wound healing process.

3.    Keep the wounds dressed: Your wounds will heal faster if they are kept warm. You must try to be quick when changing the dressings, as exposing them to open air can easily drop their temperature and slow the healing process.

4.    Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol: Both of these can hamper the wound healing process.

5.    Exercise regularly: This helps increase blood flow and speeds up wound healing.

 Conclusion

We hope this blog gives you the gist of the wound healing process and how to be patient through it. Stay tuned to learn more about wounds, the wound healing process, wound care, and more!

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