Small and large wounds are an integral part of everyday life
Therefore, it is worth knowing how to properly bandage skin injuries, how to wash superficial wounds, what bandages are, and what accelerates healing.
Table of contents:
1. What is wound healing?
2. Phases of wound healing
3. What affects wound healing?
4. How to disinfect wounds?
5. The most common mistakes in the treatment of wounds
6. How to accelerate wound healing?
7. Dressings for wounds
What is wound healing?
Healing of wounds and injuries is one of the most important survival mechanisms of the human species, which has evolved over millions of years.
Wound healing is a very complex phenomenon that includes many physical and chemical processes. Injuries lead to damage to the skin and blood vessels – bleeding. To reduce the formation of visible scarring, pay attention to proper care of both postoperative wounds and those that have formed randomly.
Wound healing phases
Wound healing can be divided into 3 stages:
wound reduction and scarring
Phase 1: Purification
Cleansing the wound is the first phase after the injury. Blood comes out of damaged vessels. In addition, the blood vessels in the immediate vicinity of the lesion are narrowed. Redness, pain and swelling are typical for phase 1 healing. In addition, the area of injury is also warmer than the surrounding healthy tissue. Damaged tissues secrete substances that contribute to the formation of a clot – together with platelets, they form a hemostatic plug, which promotes further healing and protects against excessive blood loss.
This is a natural defense reaction of the body. It is very important for the healing process to control inflammation during the cleansing phase. Neutrophils cleanse the wound of dead and damaged cells and tissue fragments. In addition, they also remove bacteria from the wound.
Phase 2: Proliferation
The proliferation phase is associated with the further destruction of microbes by cells of the immune system. In addition, during the proliferation phase, the wound is covered with a layer of epithelium. This is possible due to the proliferation of stem cells. A very important stage at which the inside of the wound becomes protected from infection by infection.
Moreover, newly formed vessels provide adequate oxygenation and nutrition of cells.
Phase 3: contraction and scar formation
The final stage of wound healing is contraction and scar formation. The initially bright red tissue fades and gradually turns into tissue containing more collagen fibers. The wound shrinks and grows dull. The cells of the immune system help increase the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Collagen fibers form an increasingly regular structure, and the edges of the wound are pulled together. Newly formed skin has no hair follicles or glands. This forms a scar.
What affects wound healing?
A wound can be considered healed if its surface is covered with epidermis. The resulting scar can undergo various transformations over a long period of time, and the healing process itself can be disrupted in different ways. If additional problems arise during wound healing, surgery, wound dressing, suturing, or even skin grafting may be considered.
Factors affecting wound healing include:
the appearance of complications during healing (infections, hematomas)
sickness in the wounded
The factor that led to the formation of the wound and the way it is treated also have a great influence on the healing process.
A wound is a violation of the integrity of the skin, which can also include damage to the tissues underneath. This can occur as a result of mechanical injury and, for example, a burn. The cause of the wound, as well as its shape and characteristics, directly affect the healing process. Skin abrasions behave differently than cuts or punctures. The wound hurts more or less – it depends on its size, depth and location.
Sharp wounds from trauma or elective surgery as a result of healing problems can turn into chronic wounds. Older people are the most vulnerable. This is due to the fact that they most often have many chronic diseases, usually the condition of their vessels is worse and there is venous insufficiency.
How to disinfect wounds?
The wound is at risk of infection both by microorganisms with which it comes into contact (eg, dirty soil) and by microorganisms on the surface of the skin. Therefore, it is very important to disinfect it. It is worth rinsing the wound with running water to remove dirt and disinfect. Use disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide or salicylic alcohol carefully and sparingly. While they disinfect a wound, they can also destroy thin, newly formed layers of cells. The drugs based on octenidine seem to be much better.
When treating a wound for the first time, it is usually recommended to apply a compress or gauze and fix it with a plaster, bandage or elastic band. If the wound is bleeding more, the bandage should be slightly compressed to help stop the bleeding. If the dressing gets wet, add another layer of gauze without removing the previous one (this will not stop the clotting process that begins when the wound comes into direct contact with the taming gauze). In case of massive bleeding, tighten the bandage and go to the hospital. If a foreign body is stuck in the wound, do not remove it yourself.
The most common mistakes in wound healing
Dressing changed too often. The golden rule to changing your dressing is to change it regularly and not often. Changing too often can disrupt tissue repair processes.
Frequent pouring over the wound with irritating disinfectants. This can damage healthy cells and interfere with healing.
Applying ointment to wounds. Ointments such as petroleum jelly or zinc ointment should not be applied to the wound. However, you can lubricate the skin around the wound.
How to accelerate wound healing?
The basic principles of the wound healing process are proper cleaning and dressing, making sure the wound is not infected, and keeping the wound moist.
When a wound heals in a moist environment, oxygen and nutrients are more easily transported to the tissue. In addition, scabs do not form and the risk of large, visible scars is reduced. If a lot of fluid is oozing and oozing from the wound, it is necessary to drain the excess fluid and the wound should not dry out. Modern dressings help with this.
Traditional wound dressings include gauze compresses, which can be woven in a variety of ways, or ointment compresses. In the second case, a neutral or antibacterial ointment is applied to the material. More modern types of dressings include patches and gel wound dressings.
• Hydrogels help maintain sufficient moisture in the wound, thereby absorbing excess exudate. They are also indispensable for burns and bedsores. They also have a calming effect. They can also be used to fill deep wounds and support cleaning.
• The most commonly used hydrophilic gels. They are suitable for both acute and chronic wounds. They create a suitable moist environment for good wound healing and thus shorten the entire process. Hydrocolloids are dressings that form a gel on contact with wound moisture and provide a good environment for cell proliferation and healing. In addition, they are very comfortable to use and often have a shock-absorbing function, protecting against subsequent injury and relieving pain. They also provide flexibility to the wound edges, of course with the size of the dressing to match the size of the wound. Often used for burns and bedsores.
• Alginate dressings are indicated for wounds with a high exudate content (they can absorb 20 times their weight). They are made from highly absorbent natural compounds. An occlusive dressing is applied to them. They are not recommended for wounds with little exudation, as they can drain too much of them.
• Polyurethane membranes are a very interesting type of dressing material that allows both excess moisture to evaporate from the wound and at the same time does not allow external water or bacteria to pass through the wound. This material often works well as an external bandage or cover for fresh tattoos.
• Silver ion dressings are used especially for infected wounds. They have antibacterial properties and are suitable for difficult-to-heal wounds.
Often, even when treating the same wound, it is recommended to use a different dressing depending on the stage of healing.
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