Different from a very old belief of letting scrapes, scratches, and other minor wounds open to free air for healing, some reviews find out that it in fact, is best to keep a wound site moist in order to promote faster healing. This is possible, since moist environment is the most suitable one for skin cell growth and thus, skin regeneration. Long time ago, the formation of scabs is considered as an advantage for the wound site, as the scabs creates a protective layer to the wound bed. While this is true, scabs, at the same time, also inhibit the formation of new skin cells, which simultaneously slow down wound healing.
The importance of moist wound dressings
The importance of moist wound dressings revolve around some benefits, such as:
- Faster wound healing rate up to 50%.
- Less scab formation, which speed up new skin cell formation.
- Decreased risk of infection, as the risk of bleeding from picked-at scabs can be minimized.
- Less scarring, which is important for cosmetic appearance.
Making a moist wound dressings
Since moist environment is really important for wound healing, it is essential to use wet to moist dressing than the wet to dry one. In order to maintain sufficient moist condition, thus, it is important to put on a wound dressing which is not going to dry out and get adhered to the wound bed. There are some things that can be made as moist wound dressings accommodating wound healing.
Use some petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
Conventional wound dressings are mostly wet-to-dry, in that when it is put onto the wound site for prolonged period, the moisture will not retain and thus, the dressing might be tightly attached to the wound. This makes removal of the dressing quite frustrating and may even lead to re-bleeding.
If you are using this kind of wound dressing, you can still create a moist environment for the wound site by dabbing some layers of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) before putting on the enclosure gauze. Choose plain petroleum jelly, which is made from 100% petroleum, without any added perfume and essences. Petroleum jelly helps retain hydration on the wound site. After applying petroleum jelly, you can dress the wound with breathable cotton gauze to create prolonged moist environment of the wound site.
Dab antibiotic creams or ointment onto the wound site
In addition to pure petroleum jelly, over the counter antibiotic ointment or creams can also be helpful in creating moist wound dressing. Similar to Vaseline, these ointments retain the body’s natural hydration, so that it keeps the dressing moist, which is important for new skin cell growth. Make sure you have extracted any dirt and debris from the wound site, so that it will not be trapped inside and increase the risk of infection.
Use some raw honey
Moist wound dressing can also be made by applying raw honey onto the wounded site. Avoid processed honey, though, because it might have been added with additives and sugar that may have bad effects to the wound site. Raw honey is enriched with natural antibacterial agent and oil that keeps wounds moist. Thus, the application of honey is beneficial for superficial wounds, such as scratches, scrapes, other kinds of abrasions.
Use hydrogel wound dressings
If you are looking for more practical moist wound dressings, precut and pre-shaped hydrogel dressings are advised. These are definitely more costly than conventional wet to dry wound dressings, but once applied onto the wound site, they are going to stay adhered to the wound and absorb the discharged fluids within 2 to 3 days without having to be changed frequently. An amazing thing about this dressing is that hydrogels do not attach to the wound directly and instead, they are adhered to the intact skin, so that removal will commonly be less painful. Its ability to retain moisture also promote faster new skin cell growth and regeneration, so that the wound will improve quite quickly. This also inhibit the formation of scabs over the wound, so that scarring can be minimized. Hydrogel dressings can be applied to wounds with large amount of discharge and can be closed off with ordinary cotton gauze.