Injuries may happen almost every time, and resulted wounds might be minor and severe. Surely, minor wounds do not require intensive care and will likely to self-heal. Hence, healing these wounds at home will not be a problem. However, deep, dirtier, or larger wounds might need a little more concern, as they may take longer period before finally healed.
Why deep wounds heal slower?
Compared to minor cuts or scrapes, deep wounds are more difficult to handle as well as heal. There are couple of reasons why deep wounds are commonly not self-healing and thus, need excessive care compared to minor wounds:
- Deeper wounds involve deeper cell membranes. If you have deep wounds, it is possible that hair follicles and glands beneath the skin layers are damaged.
- In many cases, the patients’ bodies grow scar tissues very fast, so that the deep wounds are not completely healed. Instead, only the surface of the wounds is healed, while the inner membranes are not completely formed yet.
- Deeper—sometimes dirtier and larger wounds are more susceptible to bacterial infection, especially if basic wound care is neglected. As a result, this will delay the entire healing process.
How do deep wounds heal?
Compared to minor injuries, healing stages in deep wounds are more complicated, since there are varieties of tissues involved in the process. This healing steps are commonly fulfilled within weeks to months after injuries, and might leave severe scarring. To know how deep wounds, such as wounds from gunshot, blade cuts, and major surgeries heal thoroughly, you might to refer to the four main stages of deep wound healing as follow:
Most deep wounds—burns might not, bleed, and this is an initial body response to injuries. A proper bleeding reaction will stop within minutes and in deep wounds, a pressure put onto the wound with clean towel can be done to promote blood clot. However, bleeding phase in deep wounds lasts longer than that in minor wounds, since in deep wounds, underlying tissues—instead of only the surface epidermis might be damaged.
After the blood clots, immune system—which is mostly white blood cells begins to react. The wound—or part of it becomes tender and softer. In deep wounds or surgical incision, fluid drainage might be resulted. This is the body’s way of cleansing the entire wound and flushing all debris and bacteria inside it. Meanwhile, the wound might turns into pinkish or reddish color, as a sign that blood vessels are carrying oxygen-rich blood cells to nourish the wound site. This phase commonly lasts up to a week, and during the time, white blood cells are combating all bacteria to prevent infection.
New tissues growth
After the inflammation phase ends, the body begins to form new tissues under the wound. This phase needs a quite long period—it lasts for about three weeks for minor wounds, and will be significantly longer for deeper wounds. During the phase, the body repairs damaged skin cells and blood vessels in the wound site. All these damaged cells are replaced with the new ones—the healthy ones. These inner tissues will be covered by thin layer of skin. Within weeks, the wounded site will begin to heal and the skin will pull inward, causing the wound to be smaller.
When the tissues and thin layer of skin grow completely, the next wound healing stage begins. This is the longest period of the four stages and may last for years. The wound site, which has healed turns into light red colored wound and stretches out. This site also starts to dry out partly. Along with a complete healing, the wound site becomes shiny and thinner than its surrounding skin. However, in this stage, the wounded area is not as sensitive as it was during the tissue growth phase. Many people experience severe itching during this scarring phase, as the wound site dries out. Some scabs are also formed, and should not be picked to prevent delayed healing. Eventually, you will notice scars are formed around the previously wound site, because the tissues have grown differently from the ones damaged previously.