How do you try healing your wound? Are you leaving it open or covering it with dressings which require regular changes? Old wives’ tales might have a contribution on your choice, since for a long time we have been told that it is important to let the wound breathe. Then, comes another question, how does a wound breathe? Is it able to breathe when it is covered, even with pored bandages?
Wound healing process
When it comes to decide which method is better to treat a cut, we need to consider a required way to heal a wound. A wound will be properly healed when the treatment is done properly and the wound is prevented from infection. An infection will definitely slow down the healing process. Most of the time, infection worsens the wound and cause another health problems. In wound healing, an environment needed by the skin cells for producing new cells which will cover the wounded area should be provided. Conversely, other things, activities, and circumstances which are potential to cause the wound to re-open can should be avoided. Cuts healing can be triggered by applying suitable medications and treatments. Most minor cuts are likely to heal by itself, without any specific medical treatment. However, deeper cuts require more attention and proper healing procedure to get better. Let a cut open or covered is not only related to how the wound will heal, but also to promote the fastest way to be there. Despite how familiar the old wives’ tale about letting a wound to breathe, various researchers have found another fact that keeping the wound covered might promote a better healing process.
Benefits of covering a wound
Compared to exposing a cut into free air, it is considered better to keep it covered, especially for those deep, severe cuts which need specific treatments. This is not without reasons. Instead, there are some benefits resulted from keeping a cut bandaged during the healing process.
Preventing accidental re-injuries.
We all might have experienced how an accidental bump or scrape against something cause re-injuries. When this happens and the wound is affected, you might experience re-bleeding, which put the healing process back to the very beginning. Keeping a cut bandaged will lessen the possibility, since it keeps your wound under a medium.
Preventing our desire to scratch the wound and pick the scab.
How many of you familiar with the sensation of severe itching which develop during healing a cut? This sensation might rise your desire to immediately scratch the wound, which is not a good action since it may damage the newly-formed skin and worsen the cut. Scabs is also likely to occur when your wound is exposed to free air, and picking scabs is also restarting the healing process. Keeping your cut under a bandage will inhibit you from doing this, so that you can promote a faster healing.
Preventing the wound from infection.
An exposed wound, especially the major one, is prone to infection. There is a possibility that the wound catches bugs, dirt, and other hazardous things which might carry bacteria and transfer it to the wounded area. This will undoubtedly cause infection. A closure will prevent this from happening, although when you are using a cloth dressing, you need to change it regularly to avoid infection as well.
Providing supportive environment for new cells growth.
Healing a cut involves new skin cells growth. These new skin cells are used to repair the damaged area resulted from the injury. The best environment needed for skin cells growth will be the moist one. Therefore, keeping wound covered provides this requirement.
What can be used to cover a wound?
Based on the type and severity of the wound, various dressings can be used to cover it. Sterilized gauze is advised. You can also apply petroleum jelly onto the wound to promote a proper moist environment. The most important thing does not necessarily lie on what type of dressing you are using, but depends more on the regular dressing changes and hygiene. It is important to change the dressing once it shows a bleed-through or when it causes discomfort.