Phases of Wound Healing
There are three stages in wound healing.
1. Inflammatory Phase(inflammation)
In normal conditions, it usually takes three to five days in this stage. Wounds could get red, swell and feel hot or painful when the immune system defends invasion of bacteria and microbes. Patients should keep wounds clean in this stage.
2. Proliferative Phase (Proliferation)
It often takes ten days to four weeks. New microvessels will be generated to bring more collagen tissue on wound repair while granulation tissue proliferates to decrease the size of the wound bed. Most importantly, a wet environment and less frequent dressing changes are helpful for wound healing, especially for clean wounds with little exudates.
3. Maturation/ Remodeling Phase
It would take two weeks to six months in this stage. Collagen is remodeled and wounds fully close. In this stage, collagen fibers can lie closer together and cross-link, which reduces scar thickness. It is noted that protection is necessary for newly generated skin to prevent from keloid and hypertrophic scars.
New Concepts of Wound Healing
Scarring is thought an inevitable process of wound healing. However, scars can be minimized when wound care is undertaken in a moist environment.
1. Exudates, the natural anti-inflammatory drug
Exudate is rich in growth factors and immune cells, and thus thought as the best anti-inflammatory drug for wounds
2. Wet environment for better healing
Moist environment is better than the dry one to repair cells and accelerate healing process.
3. Wet environment for minimizing scars
Dry wounds usually heal in a slow pace and are easily to injury or bleed again. The advanced dressings with breathable, water-proofing, moisture features can keep exudates on wound beds for better healing and minimize formation of scars.
Influences of Wound Healing
1. Wet wound environment allows cells to repair the injured tissue better
2. Wound infection by bacteria or microbes can delay the healing.
3. Dirty-contaminated wounds can result in slow healing
4. The elders have slow recovery
5. Slower healing happens on patients with weak immunity
6. Better nutrition is helpful for wound healing
7. Bad blood circulation can negatively influence healing
8. Diabetic, stroke and long-term bedridden patients could affect recovery progress
9. Some medicine such as Steroid, Antimetabolites and Anticoagulant would affect wound healing
10. Necrotic tissues and edema, pressure injuries can affect recovery
11. Improper cares such as overstimulation by Hydrogen peroxide or medicine overdose