You might have been told not to cover a wound if wanting it to heal faster. A wound should be exposed to the air so that it can “breathe”. This thought seems sensible, as many people think there is a possibility or making a wound rotten by covering it all the time during the healing time.
What factors affect wound healing?
In order to promote a proper healing to a wound, we need to expand the knowledge about those factors influencing wound healing speed. Every wound, although is going to elapse similar steps of healing process, might experience different length of time, which is affected by:
Health status and chronic diseases suffered by the patient.
The patient’s health status determines the ability for the immune system in promoting wound healing. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes will inhibit wound healing significantly, causing longer period of time before the injury is fully healed.
Patient’s age determines the length of a complete wound healing process. This process tends to be faster in children and significantly slower in the elderly.
What the patient eats will contribute to wound healing. Some foods may even worsen the condition of the wound, while some others have healing roles. During wound healing, water is the most important substance to take, as well as fruits, green vegetables, and supplements if necessary.
Patient’s habit, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
Smoking and drinking alcohol will inhibit wound healing process, as these inhibit blood supply to the wound site, which is needed for wound healing.
Medications may promote faster skin cell growth which promote faster healing. Yet, some medications taken for chronic diseases might affect the process and slow it down.
Temperature plays an important role in cell and tissues metabolism during the wound repair process.
Debris, such as necrotic tissues and foreign materials need to be removed from the wound site, in order to ensure that the wound healing stages are well-elapsed.
Infection causes the damage to the skin tissues and cells, which triggers delay on the wound healing stages. Thus, it is important to watch for infection signs, such as elevating pain, swelling, bleeding, and abnormal drainage on the wound site to inhibit infection.
Wound dressing, especially for a deep and large one plays an important rote to the healing. Two common types of dressing—the dry and moist dressings are often used in wound healing.
Does a wound heal faster dry or moist?
The belief of promoting healing by exposing a wound to the air has long been considered and practiced. However, a lot of medical researchers have shown quite contradictory facts to this belief. According to these researches, exposing wounds to the air is not recommended, as it may inhibit healing instead speeding it up. On the contrary, moist wound heals 50% faster than wounds which are left open, unbandaged, and exposed to the air. There are some pointed reasons why a moist dressing—hence, moist environment promotes a faster healing.
- New skin cells grow faster in moist environment
New skin cell growth is required in wound healing.
- These new skin cells are going to produce a layer to cover up the wounded area. If your wound is left moist—by covering it with a moist bandage, for instance, these skin cells grow faster. This means speeding up the wound covering, promoting faster healing.
- Scabs formation is inhibited in moist environment
Although scabs is believed as an indication of healed wounds, its present, in fact, should be inhibited.
- When scabs are formed, new skin cells growth is stopped. Thus, the formation of a layer covering the wound cannot be promoted. When a wound is exposed to the air, it gets dry very soon, causing scabs that kill new skin tissues. To prevent this, covering the wound with a moist bandage is recommended.
- Scabs which come off unnaturally will cause damages to the wound, causing it to re-bleed. Unintentionally picking scars also tear the skin tissues and may leave visible scars.
- Moist wound will not limit your movements
This becomes important if the wound is located on the joint or body parts which perform a lot of movements.
- Dry wound will form scabs that limit movements on the joints and folds.
- Wounds which are over-dried tend to re-bleed and cause the healing process to restart.