You may wonder how soon you should dress and treat a fresh wound, and how scar treatment timing can affect the healing process. Timely treatment is key in avoiding scarring later on.
The wound healing process is a complex one that is nothing short of amazing. The body works hard to heal itself after a burn, injury, cut, or surgical incision. A side effect of all that overtime your body is putting in is scar formation. In fact, scars are the body’s way of healing itself to avoid further injury to that area.
But while this is nature’s way of wronging a right, most people will agree that scars are unsightly and want to do all they can to minimize their appearance.
3 Stages of the Healing Process
The skin healing process typically follows a three-step pattern, with each stage crucial to the end result. Those stages include:
- Inflammatory stage – Right after injury, your blood vessels will tighten up in an effort to avoid blood loss. Platelets will rush to the site to form clots. Only then will the blood vessels get bigger so they can draw in maximum blood flow to the site. This is why wounds usually get red and warm to the touch. Then, the white blood cells come in to get rid of microbes, followed by multiplication of skin cells across the wound.
- Fibroblastic stage – Next up, collagen grows at the site and the wound edges start to close. Capillaries draw in more blood to encourage growth of new skin.
- Maturation stage – More and more collagen floods to the area, taking many months or even years in some cases. This is precisely why you should continue with wound and scar care well after the initial injury because the healing process behind the scenes takes a lot longer than you may think.
10 Barriers to Wound Healing
Here are the common factors that can slow down the healing process:
- Necrosis – Dead skin and foreign materials can clog up the works.
- Infection – Open wounds are susceptible to bacterial infection, which makes your body focus on fighting off that infection rather than healing the wound.
- Hemorrhage – Persistent bleeding prevents the wound from closing.
- Diet – A poor diet doesn’t allow healing nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and protein to enter.
- Medical conditions – Anemia, diabetes, and vascular diseases lower your immune system’s ability to heal the site.
- Age – Healing doesn’t happen as quickly in the elderly.
- Medicines – Certain drugs mess with the natural healing process.
- Smoking – Tobacco also impairs the healing process and increases the chance for complications.
- Varicose veins – These result in break-downs of the skin as well as repeated ulcerations.
- Dryness – Skin cells need a moist environment to thrive. When fresh wounds are exposed to the air, they can’t heal as fast.
Proper wound care is imperative in avoiding scars. Keep the wound covered for the first couple of days and add antibiotic ointment. As it starts to heal, uncover it. Don’t pick at scabs. Once it has healed over, massage silicone scar gel like Scarfade twice a day to fade the scar’s appearance over time.
Check out the amazing before and after photos to see what a difference our product makes!