Do know the factors affecting wound healing? The healing rate of damaged tissues depends on many factors - genetics, the patient's age, general body condition, and blood coagulation features. Our article describes the main factors affecting the wound healing and gives some tips for your quick recovery.
Wound healing is a rather complicated and often long process. It demonstrates the ability of a human body to regenerate.
There are many reasons why wounds heal at different speeds. First of all, it depends on the type of wound whether it is a result of the surgical intervention or disease. Besides, it includes the patient's individual characteristics such as age, nutrition, and medicines taken. The healing time of wounds depends largely on the human body condition, immunity, presence of diseases, etc.
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Factors affecting wound healing
Many factors influence the progress of a wound healing process.
- the volume of tissue damage, size, and shape of the wound defect;
- the presence of non-viable tissues, blood clots, exudates and foreign bodies in the wound;
- the condition of tissue trophic in the injured area (it’s determined by the nature of the damage as well as anatomical features of the blood supply and innervations);
- the presence of pathogenic microflora in the wound and the level of bacterial contamination of tissues;
- getting chemicals into the wound that have an additional damaging effect on the tissues.
Big wounds with a large number of non-viable tissues heal much more slowly. Blood supply disorders also slow down reparative processes in the damage zone. The development of wound suppuration significantly lengthens the phase of inflammation. Therefore, the time of healing increases and the results worsen.
- the age of the patient;
- shock development and blood loss as a result of injury;
- nutritional and body weight conditions;
- the immune status of a body;
- interruptions of water and electrolyte balance;
- the presence of concomitant diseases;
The age of the patient
The children's organism has the greatest reparative potential due to the predominance of anabolic processes during the development period. Under these conditions, the healing of various injuries occurs in a shorter time with a more favourable outcome. On the contrary, in old age, the wounds are subject to a long course with the formation of fragile scars.
Each person has genetically determined features of body reactions on wound healing. For instance, adrenal glands activity and blood concentration of hormones significantly affect the healing process.
Shock and blood loss
Shock or blood loss can arise as a result of an injury.
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Nutritional status and body weight
Nutritional factors affecting wound healing are also very important. The decrease in body weight, cachexia leads to disruption of metabolic processes. It breaks the normal wound healing when the body urgently needs energy. It has been noticed that patients with an excess of subcutaneous fat often have complications. It happens because fiber has a significantly worse blood supply than other tissues and consequently less resistance to infection development.
The immune status of a body
Patients with congenital or acquired immunity defects including AIDS patients most often experience development of infections in wound. It significantly delays the wound healing.
Breaking of water and electrolyte balance
Dehydration and changes in the content of electrolytes in the blood and tissue fluid disrupt all types of metabolism, which in turn adversely affects the wound healing process.
Chronic diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and airways reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. It leads to a decrease in the production of essential proteins, carbohydrates, disruption of energy metabolism, and, accordingly, to slow down the repair processes
Especially unfavourable conditions for wound healing can occur if a person has diabetes. Several factors play a key role here. As a result of angiopathy development, the blood supply to the tissues is disturbed. Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism which are characteristic for this disease also have a negative effect.
In the early stages of healing, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines can slow down the process. Radiation therapy causes the obliteration of small vessels of the skin. It leads to local tissue ischemia and also slows wound healing.
Also to the common factors we can attribute the body condition after chemotherapy and the body of a smoker. Therefore, when healing is slow, it is necessary to undergo an examination to identify its causes. The disease must be treated or taken into account when treating wounds.
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Stages of wound healing
The healing process consists of three phases:
After the bleeding stops, white blood cells (leukocytes) penetrate through the walls of the capillaries and concentrate in the area of damage. The task of these cells is to clean the wound and protect it from infection. The priority of this phase is the removal of necrotic tissue, bacteria, and toxins that can delay healing.
In case of deep injuries, the wound cannot immediately heal as the internal cavity of a wound is filled with new tissues. Granulation is described as filling a wound with temporary vascular tissue. At this phase, the main task is to protect the wound from drying out. If the wound dries up, the top layer of the cells dies. For rapid healing, it is necessary to maintain an optimal level of moisture.
Sufficient moisture is also important at the final phase of healing. By this time, skin functions are restored as much as possible. The upper cells’ layer of the newly formed epithelium is still subject to dehydration, so it is desirable to protect the wound surface from the adverse effects of the environment.
Factors that promote wound healing
- regular dressings (they must be made once or twice a day depending on a type of wound and medicine used for healing);
- the regular skin treatment around a wound (to avoid infection);
- sterility of materials for dressing, purity of used instruments (infection prevention);
- correctly chosen accelerating healing agent (it should include an active ingredient that stimulates healing and improves the nutrition of the tissues in the wound area);
- correct evaluation of the injury condition when choosing a medicine (jelly use while the wound is still wet but when the wound begins to dry apply ointment).
How to heal wounds faster
If you treat the wound immediately and do it correctly as well as choose the right treatment, then recovery will be faster. Treat the wound immediately after its appearance, but do it very carefully. You should immediately remove dirt and dead tissue from it, while it is prohibited to touch the wound itself.
It is better to consult a doctor immediately after your treatment. But if the wound is deep, then it is obligatory! It’s great if the first aid is provided by a specialist, since your injury may need stitches.
If you see that the wound is not deep and serious, and you are sure that you can cope with the treatment yourself, treat the skin of the wound with an antiseptic. Then apply a sterile dressing for the first time and after a couple of hours change the dressing. Be sure that you have bandages, tweezers, and scissors at your home. You have to treat them with alcohol constantly. Moreover, you need medicines that promote wound healing and antiseptic solutions.
Besides, for making the wound heal quicker, eat meat, fish, nuts, liver, eggs, oatmeal as well as fresh vegetables and fruits. And don’t forget: psychological factors affecting wound healing are essential too. In the recovery period, you should stay tranquil and have a positive attitude.
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