Wound care has progressed with a lot of research into how to achieve the best environment for healing.
It has been shown that a moist environment increases rates of healing up to 54%. However, how do you achieve the ‘moist’ and what does this actually mean?
All wounds are not equal and there is no cookie-cutter solution for success. You need to consider:
- Is the wound still bleeding?
- Is it really dry and scab formed?
- Is there an infection?
- Are there any other injuries to blood vessels from your injury?
- Are the lymphatic, arterial and venous systems doing their job in returning the blood to the heart?
These are all contributing factors to help decide the wound care plan.
The aim of healing is to get the skin edges to close together as quickly as possible.
As the wound heals, the body is undergoing many processes to clean up the ‘rubbish’ and lay down collagen to hold the area together while it gains strength.
It takes up to 12 months for a scar to fully mature. What we do in the early stages of wound care has a huge influence over this process.
The other important factor is considering the environment of the wound – if there is a lot of swelling in the area, this increases the distance between the cells, so the waste products the cells produce as well as the nutrients delivered to the area in your blood is mixed in.
Swelling can increase the time it takes to heal for this reason, it can also have impacts on how much a joint can move affecting how the wound heals.