Healing wounds by exposing it to the open air has been used for centuries, especially when commercial bandages and gauzes have not been found. While recent researches discover that moist wound care heals wounds faster than the dry one, many people are stick to dry wound healing, as the old wives’ tales told us that in order to heal quickly and properly, wounds, anywhere on our body need to “breathe”. During this early time, blisters and scabs that form during the healing process were considered as the nature way of healing the wound site.
Dry wound healing
With dry wound care method, scabs is formed sometime after the treatment performed. This scab dries out, acting as a protective barrier for the new skin cells beneath the skin. When the skin cells proliferate completely, forming a new layer on the skin surface, the scab falls off by itself, leaving tender area of the skin as the wound heals.
Despite its wide use during the ancient time, dry wound healing may cause re-bleeding once the formed scab is detached from the wound bed. Moreover, this re-bleeding wound site may trigger fluid discharge with foul odor. Despite this, drying wounds is very effective wound care for small superficial wounds, such as scrapes and minor wounds on parts of the body where movements is not excessive.
How to dry wounds faster
Dry wound healing can be performed with a gauze. This will keep the wound moist, instead of making it too dry in contact with free air circulation. Putting bandage over the wound will dry the wound faster without causing thick scabbing that may lead to re-bleeding and delay healing. To dry wound fast, do these steps:
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound site. With large wound, bleeding will not completely stops with this pressure. Seepage of blood and clear, odorless fluid discharge might present, so that putting some layers of gauze will help.
- When the bleeding stops, clean the wound site with saline solution to remove dirt and debris. People used to use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to dry wound faster, yet this is not recommended in that these solution tend to harm the skin by damaging the skin tissues.
- Pat the wound dry and apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment all over the wound using a Q-tip or cotton ball. This will eliminate infesting bacteria, so that new skin cell growth can be promoted faster.
- Cover the entire wound with the gauze. This gauze will absorb the discharged fluid and act as a protective barrier. This will enhance the formation of the superficial layer of the skin without too much scabbing.
- Once the scab forms, allow the wound to remain open. The scab acts as a natural barrier protecting the skin tissues beneath it until the new skin completely forms.
- Avoid applying wet dressing to the wound as this will prevent the wound site from drying out.
- If you need to clean the wound when changing the gauze, it is advised to use saline solution dabbed onto the wound. You can also use gentle soap, but avoid the soap from getting into and stay in the wound.
- Apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel as a replacement for antibiotic ointment. Aloe vera gel forms a thin layer on the wound that resembles thin layer of newly-formed skin. This will dry the wound site faster and prevent it from getting contaminated by external dirt and debris, so that the wound may dry out faster.
- Garlic also helps drying out wounds. However, it may cause skin burn and not recommended for badly opened wounds. Thus, apply garlic once your swelling improves and thin layer of the skin forms. To reduce the risk of garlic burn, you can crush it and dilute it into water.