One of the keys to minimizing scar formation is proper wound care. The better we take care of our wounds, the faster and more effectively they will heal. Conversely, if we fail to properly care for wounds they won’t heal as well and may even become infected. When a wound becomes infected it will often result in a scar that is more prominent than it would otherwise have been.
Basic wound care includes keeping it clean, covered, moist and minimizing exposure to ultra violet light. Not surprisingly, there is also significant evidence that suggests exercise and proper nutrition may play important roles in helping wounds heal more quickly.
Exercise -Several controlled studies over the past few years have demonstrated that wounds tend to heal more quickly in individuals that exercise regularly, in some cases by as much as 25%. The results were particularly significant among individuals 55 and older. There are a number of theories as to why exercise is beneficial to healing. Among them is the idea that exercise increases blood flow to the wound site, which increases oxygen flow and promotes healing while simultaneously sweeping away debris from the injury site. Another theory suggests that exercise may enhance the bodies regulation of the stress hormone Cortisol, thereby allowing it to heal more effectively.
Nutrition – Proper nutrition provides the body with the building blocks needed to heal wounds and create healthy new tissue. Lacking certain nutrients such as protein, your body will break down existing healthy tissue and muscle to help heal wounds. Good nutrition also helps keep your immune system strong so that it can more effectively fight infection. The most important nutrients when it comes to wound healing are Protein, Water, Vitamins C and A, and Zinc. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, tofu, soybeans, nuts and grains. Good sources of Vitamins A and C include Spinach, Kale, carrotts, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, cantouloupe and strawberries, among others. Zinc can be found in animal-based foods such as red meat and poultry as well as in many seafoods. When trying to cover all the nutritional bases it is often a good idea to consider supplementation via multi vitamins. For more information on how and where to find the mentioned nutrients, there is a ton of good information available free on the internet.
Keep in mind that there is no single most important step to good wound healing. Rather, the best healing will come when one uses a well rounded approach including these and other steps we have discussed in previous articles. For more information on wound and scar treatment give us a call at (800)771-2215