The Do’s and Don’ts of Wound and Scar Care
The skin, our body’s largest organ, does many things for us. It regulates our body temperature, acts as a protective barrier from anything that can potentially harm us, for instance, it reduces the harmful effects of UV Radiation, it acts as a sensory organ, and not to forget aids in the production of oil to keep the skin soft, and smooth. When the skin is subjected to wounds, its healing shows an extraordinary mechanism of cellular function that is distinctive in nature.
While our skin is incredible and plays an integral part in our day-to-day lives, it has one flaw: when it is severely damaged, it is unable to regenerate; as a result of severe damage, the formation of scars occurs. While these marks or scars seem like they are just that, they are not, scar tissue not only inhibits movement, it also lacks sweat glands that prevent the body from cooling off. There are two ways for wounds to heal: in minor cases your skin regenerates, in other cases, scars are formed. In regeneration, damaged tissues are replaced by tissues of the same type, whereas in scar formation, damaged tissue is replaced by fibrous scar tissue that lacks properties of the original tissues. Once the wound has healed, trusted ingredients at home can be applied topically to nourish the skin two of the most common ones to use are: aloe vera, or turmeric given the presence of curcumin in it.
Why is wound care necessary?
A lot of times wound care is underestimated. If they’re not given the right attention at the right time, wounds can transition to complex wounds and then to chronic wounds. More so, chronic wounds can be both, medically and physically draining. Thus, when corrective measures are adhered to, the first step to wound-healing must be to communicate clearly and set the correct expectations for the cure. While wound healing comes naturally to the human body, the pace and the extent of it is something that depends on the general health of the person. For instance, for individuals dealing with diabetes, wound healing for them may be prolonged as opposed to someone who isn’t. Going by a study, Diabetes mellitus is a complex disease that magnifies the problem associated with critical illness and this does influence the wound-healing process. It causes impaired healing and increases the risk of infection. Complications associated with Diabetes such as macrovascular, microvascular, and neuropathic diseases also have an impact on wound healing.
Apart from illnesses, the structure of your skin also matters when it comes to wound healing. For instance, for someone with thin or sensitive skin, the wound might affect several layers beneath and that could take a while to recover as opposed to someone with thick skin. As the wound affects several layers of the skin, its healing takes longer. To help manage the wound better, do the following:
- Keep it clean by using a sterile saline solution or bottled water.
- Use appropriate dressings, barrier creams, or emollients to keep the wound protected.
- Select the right dressing that is kind to your skin.
- Eliminate tapes that stretch the skin further and mild ointments that avoid dryness from the wound.
Skincare and Would-Healing: Getting the basics right
There are many ways for wounds to heal, some say exposure is helpful for smaller wounds to heal faster, while other wounds that are more deep-rooted may need to be covered to avoid infection. Having said that it is important to observe hygiene and certain processes across all wound care. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts, the basics if you will, to help ensure a seamless healing process.
It is paramount to allow the wound to heal at its own pace. The process can be tedious and painful but your skin is also fragile. Any interference with the healing process can lead to the wound becoming chronic or subject to more complex infection. What does help instead, is monitoring your wound continuously, supporting its healing with the right products, and wearing the right clothing. Lastly, don’t forget to eat right, food is medicine!