For centuries, saltwater has been used as one of those natural remedies in healing skin injuries. In some ancient cultures, such as Egyptian and Greece, salt water was used as a remedy for scrapes, cuts, mouth sores, and skin irritations. It does not stop there and as a matter of fact, saline solution is still being used in modern medicine world. Saline solution that is sterilized is involved in wound irrigation and certain medical surgeries. Despite all the benefits salt water can give to the wound healing, it is important not to use it carelessly, as soaking your open wound in the ocean might instead lead to an infection.
How salt water help healing wounds faster
One reason why salt water is widely used for wound healing is that it helps kill certain types of bacteria infesting the wound site. When these bacteria are killed, the wound site is cleaned and thus, the infection is inhibited, so that it will not spread into the other skin areas or getting worse. Killing the infesting bacteria also helps the new skin cells to grow faster and more properly. Once this proper growth is promoted, the wounded site will eventually heal. In addition, salt also helps wound to heal faster by drying it out. It is possible, since salt has an ability to absorb water and fluid discharge from a wound site. As a result, the wound site will dry out faster and thus, heal more quickly. At the wound site, the excessive moisture in the cells is the major cause of the inflammation. As salt is a potent absorbent, it helps removing this moisture, shrinking the cells down and take the infesting bacteria with them. As a result, the wound site does not only dry out faster, but also less swollen. Decreasing the inflammation means reducing the caused pain. While putting salt water on the wound site will badly sting at first, it helps future painful sensation around the wound site, which is very helpful for numerous people.
To get maximized healing effects of salt water, pay attention to things you should and should not do as follow:
- If going to a beach, avoid swimming in polluted water, as this may contain harmful bacteria that may penetrate the wound, making it worse and inhibiting the healing process.
- While salt water can sometimes help heal your wound, sand, debris, and other external particles at the beach may be harmful to it. Therefore, avoid sand and debris from getting into your wound site while at the beach.
- Avoid tanning at the beach with an open wound, as this may aggravate the wound and increase the risk of scarring.
Although salt water is beneficial for wound healing and has been used as a potent natural remedy, improper use of this substance may instead aggravate the wound, causing excessive redness and inflammation. While using salt water for wound treating, such as over-the-counter saline solution, be prepared to experience sting when it is first applied onto the wound site.
What wounds are healed by salt water?
In the past centuries, people use salt water—and salt to help healing various kinds of wounds. Nowadays, you can also rub or dab saline solution onto open wounds located on most parts of the body. Minor wounds that affect the outer surface of the skin can be healed with salt water or saline solution, without overthinking about any possible side effects. Thus, saline solution is commonly used for mouth soreness and minor scrapes. This solution helps killing the infesting bacteria inside the mouth, on the sore area and help drying out scrapes so that it heals more quickly. Despite this, using salt water carelessly is not recommended. Some types of wounds might be aggravated when given saline solution or salt water. With this kind of wound—surgical lesions, for instance, salt water can be used as an antiseptic, but is not advised to be used as a replacement to required medications. Thus, it is very recommended to use saline solution to clean or irrigate the wound, but make sure you involve more reliable medications that have been prescribed for these severe wounds.