Understanding Wound Healing

The process of healingwhether physical or emotionalis a complex one. 


Some wounds can be painfully deep like a gaping gash, while others can be more superficial, and thus heal with better ease. Typically, the deeper the wound, the more complicated the process of healing. Interestingly, this applies to both physical wounds and emotional hurts. However, for the sake of today’s topic, we will be focusing on physical wounds, rather than their emotional/ spiritual counterpart.


When a wound (i.e. a cut, scratch, puncture) only affects the outermost layer of skin, it is known as a superficial wound.  However, a wound that enters the deeper layer of skin is called a deep wound. When a wound reaches the deeper layers of skin, this triggers the four overlapping phases of wound healing—a complicated biological process.  During these four phases, the skin works to repair itself after an injury.


The cascade of wound healing consists of: 

 1) an initial response to maintain homeostasis, (during this phase blood cells clump together and clot to prevent further blood loss.) 

2) an inflammatory response to prevent infection,

3) a proliferative phase to reconstruct the wound site, 

4) and a remodeling phase to restore the function and strength of the tissue. 


Various factors may affect/ disrupt this process, including:  

  • Health of the individual. Those with underlying health conditions (i.e. diabetes, HIV/ AIDS, low mobility)  may be at risk for slower healing, and can also increase the chance of wound infections. 
  • Skin and wound infections.  Infections can interfere with wound healing and can sometimes lead to additional damage to the tissue. 

  • Signs of a wound infection:

    There are various signs that can indicate a wound infection. Some signs and symptoms include fever, redness or discoloration, swelling, itching, pain to the touch, scaling skin, and pus. Red streaks may also emanate from the wound. If you are concerned that your wound may be infected, contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately. 


    Tips to care for your wound and encourage healing 

    Honey, I’m home! Honey contains enzymes and has antiviral properties that can promote healing and help prevent infection. Apply honey to a dressing and then place the dressing onto your skin, followed by a clean dressing on top. 


    Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Ascorbic acid (vitamin c) helps your body make collagen, a protein that plays a key role in all of the phases of wound healing.  


    Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine and can actually speed healing and relieve stress.


    Wishing you happy healing, health, and wellness!

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