Once you get injured and get a wound, here are a few steps that you should follow:
- Clean the wound: In case of minor cuts or scratches, wash it well with soap and clear water to remove the dirt or debris. If you find any foreign object such as glass in the wound, get it removed from a doctor.
- Stop the bleeding: Clean your hands and apply pressure on the wound with the help of a clean cloth or bandage for about 10-20 minutes. This will stop the bleeding.
- Apply an antiseptic: You can apply any antiseptic cream such as Betadine (povidone-iodine) on the wound to prevent infection. Alternatively, you can apply an antibiotic cream.
- Pack the wound: Apply a sterile bandage over the wound. If the wound is deep or big, you may need to see a doctor get the appropriate dressing done.
If the wound is very large and deep, your doctor will close the wound manually by stitching (suturing).
In the case of surgical wounds, you need to clean the wound and change the dressing daily or as advised by the doctor.
What are the four stages of wound healing?
Wound healing is a complex process that gets completed in four stages in an organized manner. The phases of wound healing are:
- Hemostasis: This is the stage after the blood oozes out of the wound. The bleeding stops by the formation of a blood clot (thrombus). This thrombus is mainly made up of components of blood, which are known as platelets.
- Inflammation: During this phase, the injured blood vessels in the wound discharge fluid that causes the wound to swell. During the inflammatory phase, the wound repair process starts, and the damaged cells and bacteria get cleared from the wound. This process stops further bleeding and also wards off infection.
- Proliferation: During this phase, new tissue formation (known as granulation tissue) takes place as the wound contracts. A new network of blood vessels also develops to supply oxygen for the growth of new tissues in the wound.
- Maturation (tissue remodeling): The cells that had aggregated in the wound to repair it get removed and the wound gets closed.
Which factors affect wound healing?
Not all wounds heal at the same pace. Some factors affect the way how a wound heals:
- Age: The inflammatory response of the body generally decreases with aging. This may slow the process of wound healing.
- Type of wound: Deeper and longer wounds take time to heal. Also, irregular or contaminated wounds may take longer to heal as compared with clean-cut wounds.
- Infection: Invasion of the open wound by microbes such as bacteria hampers the wound healing process.
- Poor nutrition: Lack of proteins and other nutrients in the diet can delay wound healing.
- Skin moisture: Moisture at the wound is an essential factor necessary for the proliferative phase of wound healing. Hence, it is necessary to drink lots of water during the healing process that will hydrate the wound.
- Poor blood circulation: As the blood supplies all the essential nutrients to the wound required for its healing, poor blood circulation can lead to delayed wound healing.
- Health issues such as diabetes and obesity may delay wound healing.
- Certain medications may affect wound healing.
- Stress may retard wound healing.
- Smoking may decrease blood flow, thus retarding wound healing.
- Alcohol abuse harms general health and can delay wound healing.
- Weakened immunity such as in AIDS may slow the wound healing process.
When to call the doctor for your wound?
After you get the wound and follow all the steps of wound care, you need to observe your wound for a few days till it heals completely. Call the doctor if you feel that your wound has become infected. Watch for signs of infection:
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anamuThe leaves, stems, and roots of anamu have been traditionally taken as tea or tincture to treat infections, headaches, fever, and cold. It is topically applied for skin fungal infections and to heal cuts and wounds. Do not take anamu if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid taking anamu if you have an increased tendency to bleed or bruise easily (bleeding diathesis), or if you are on blood thinning medications (anticoagulants). Use with caution if you have diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes). Side effects of anamu may include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and low blood pressure (hypotension).
arnicaArnica montana is a homeopathic topical pain relief product used to treat temporary pain from bruising, muscle aches and stiffness, and swelling. Side effects of arnica include cardiac arrest, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Do not use arnica during pregnancy due to the risk of abortion. Pure arnica is considered an unsafe herb by the FDA.
calendulaCalendula is a flowering plant that has been commonly used in medicinal preparations in alternative medicine. The suggested medicinal uses of calendula include minor cuts, wounds, and burns; diaper rash, dermatitis, peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, fever, painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), vaginal Candida yeast infection (candidiasis), and others. Common side effects of calendula include allergic reactions. Oral calendula may cause uterine contraction and miscarriage if taken during pregnancy. Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture WoundsLearn about first aid for cuts, scrapes (abrasions), and puncture wounds, when to see a doctor, if tetanus shots are necessary, and how to spot signs of infection.
First Aid: Bandaging Injuries and Wounds From Head to ToeBandaging a wound like a burn, cut, or scrape requires different techniques depending on which part of the body was hurt. Ace bandages, liquid bandages, bandage wraps, waterproof bandages, elastic bandages, and other types are available to cover and protect your wound from dirt and water.
First Aid: Wound Care for Cuts and ScrapesWound care treatment at home involves performing cuts and scrapes first aid including cleaning the injury and applying antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Use wound care products like adhesive bandages, hypoallergenic bandages, sprays, tape, and gauze. If cuts and scrapes don’t heal, see your doctor.
First Aid Quiz: Care for Wounds, Scrapes, Cuts, and BurnsWound care for cuts and scrapes includes treatment to clean and bandage the injury. Should you use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, ointment, or butter on a wound? Should you pull a bandage off fast or air out a wound? Take this quiz to test your medical knowledge.
gotu kolaGotu kola is a medicinal herb (Centella asiatica) that has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine systems to treat circulatory conditions, wound healing, abdominal disorders, and memory enhancement. Gotu kola is used for treating wounds, thick raised scarring (hypertrophic scarring), psoriasis, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and others. Common side effects of gotu kola include nausea, gastrointestinal upset, high cholesterol levels, burning, skin rash, itching (pruritus), photosensitivity, allergic contact dermatitis, drowsiness, dizziness, and others.
How Do You Irrigate a Wound?Wound irrigation is a non-invasive procedure in which a steady flow of a solution is used to achieve wound hydration; remove debris, dead cells, pathogens, and excess blood or other exudates such as pus in an open wound; and assist with a better visual examination. Wound irrigation is one of the most effective methods of wound cleansing.
Is Pus a Sign of Infection? What Causes It?Learn about pus and what to do if a wound gets infected and contains pus. Bacteria are microbes that are invisible to the naked eye because of their size. You can observe them under a microscope.
propolisPropolis is a natural adhesive and resin-like substance produced and used by bees that is commercially available in the form of capsules, mouthwash solutions, throat lozenges, powder and topical formulations such as ointments, creams, and lotions. Propolis has many uses, which include common cold and respiratory infections, inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions such as colitis and diverticulitis, cancer, herpes simplex infections, improvement of insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes, reducing alcohol-induced liver injury, treatment of wounds, burns, acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis; and others.
silver nitrateSilver nitrate solution is used topically as an anti-infective agent to cauterize infected wound tissue, and remove warts and excess granulation tissue. Common side effects of silver nitrate include discoloration of skin, local irritation and burning on the application site, and methemoglobinemia. There are no well-controlled studies on silver nitrate use in pregnant women. Use if potential benefits to the mother outweigh possible risks to the fetus. There are no studies on use of silver nitrate in nursing mothers; avoid use.
What Are the Categories of Wound Closure?An open wound can be closed in any of the three ways. These ways are referred to as the three categories of wound closure or three ways of wound healing.
Are Scratches Serious Injuries?Scratches are superficial wounds that do not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. They are one of the commonest types of injuries. We all get scratches often such as scratches due to sharp edges of objects, animal scratches, and scratches in response to itching.
What Is Bentonite Clay Used For?Bentonite clay, also known as montmorillonite clay or calcium bentonite clay, is an ancient home remedy that is used for a variety of skin issues. It is used for treating various health issues such as acne, wounds, ulcers, skin allergies, bloating and diarrhea.
What Is the Fastest Way to Heal an Open Wound?An open wound is an injury that includes an external or internal break in your body tissue, usually the skin. Nearly, everyone experiences an open wound at some point in their life. Mostly, they are minor and can be treated with home remedies.
When Should You Not Close A Wound?Wounds should not be closed if there is a high risk of infection and in other situations. Wounds may be classified as acute or chronic or open or closed. They may be caused by penetrating objects, nonpenetrating trauma and other miscellaneous causes.
When To Not Close A WoundWounds with high chances of infection should be kept open for greater than 24 hours or should not be stitched for adequate cleaning and antibiotic treatment to prevent the risk of infection.