Wound Healing 101 - Your Guide to Help Wounds and Cuts Heal Faster

Wound Healing 101 – Your Guide to Help Wounds and Cuts Heal Faster

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You may have often noticed that when you get a small cut or scrape on your body, it tends to clear up by itself in a few days, even without any efforts on your part. Such small cuts and wounds do not cause us much alarm as we know from experience that our body will clear it up by itself. We have come to rely on this automatic wound healing process that our body undergoes. Once the bleeding from the wound stops, a scar begins to form and gradually the scar gives way to new skin. This 3-step process is quite common and you will see many such wounds fade away in the course of your lifetime. Not many people stop to wonder how all these processes actually take place, or marvel at the seamlessness of wound healing.

Although the process of wound healing may seem this simple at first glance, there is a lot going on below the surface. Our body is a complex machine, with many interwoven processes occurring at the same time. From the very moment the skin barrier is broken by a sharp object or any similar cause, our body’s protective mechanisms kick in and the wound healing process begins. While it may seem like a slow process on the outside, in actuality there is a mass of rapid movement happening below the skin’s surface. 

What is wound healing?

The entirety of the wound healing process can be divided into 4 distinct stages. Each stage focuses on one aspect of healing, whether it is the formation of the scab or the regrowth of skin tissue. Here’s an easy to comprehend explanation of the four stages to help you understand the wound healing process better:

Stage 1- Hemostasis phase

This first stage of the wound healing process is called hemostasis, this is the stage where the formation of a blood clot takes place. As soon as there is a break in the epidermis (top layer of the skin), the platelets in our blood rush to the site of the injury and start forming clumps. As more and more platelets bind together, a blood clot is formed which serves to effectively plug the wound site and stop any bleeding. Once the bleeding is under control, the next phase kicks in.

Stage 2- Inflammation

In this stage, you will notice your skin start to swell up around the wound. Do not be alarmed, this is caused due to the increased flow of fluid and white blood cells to the wound site, signifying that your body has begun cleaning up the wound and getting rid of any bacteria. The white blood cells get to work on engulfing any debris that may have entered the wound and getting rid of them. This process decontaminates the wound by making sure there aren’t any harmful germs or debris left in the wound site.

Stage 3- Proliferation

Now that the wound has been cleaned up by the WBCs, the growth of new tissue begins. The wound will begin to contract and a new network of blood vessels will spring up. This network forms the base for the growth of the new tissue. In this stage of wound healing, the healing skin will appear pink or reddish in colour. The epidermal layer can be rebuilt faster when the wound is kept covered in moist conditions, which is why using a wound plaster is always recommended for faster healing.

Stage 4- Maturation phase

This is the last leg of the wound healing process, the body tidies the wound site up and the excess cells are gotten rid of. The wound will now fully close, having been replaced with new skin, and the process comes to an end.

To sum up,

  1. A wound is incurred as a cut in the skin’s upper layers
  2. The body forms a blood clot to stop the bleeding
  3. WBCs cleanse the wound of any debris or bacteria
  4. Blood vessels reconnect themselves, forming a network
  5. New tissue begins to grow, patching up the epidermal layer
  6. The wound closes completely, sometimes leaving a scar

So that answers the question of how wounds heal. If you’re wondering at which stage of this process a scab begins to form, the answer is simple.

In an optimal setting, a scab should not form at all.

A scab actually hinders and prolongs the healing process, especially as most people tend to pick at their scabs which sets the process back further.

When you apply a wound plaster over a cut, the wound is not only protected from outside contaminants, it also gets a chance to heal in a moist environment, which considerably speeds up the healing process. Since the wound is already covered, the body does not have to spend extra energy on forming a scab and can focus on faster healing instead.
Additionally, the cells can move faster and more freely in dry conditions, enabling them to patch up the tissue quicker.

So if you want to know how to heal a wound faster, here’s what you should do.

How to treat wounds at home for faster heal time

  1. Use cool running water to clean the wound properly before dressing it
  2. Apply petroleum jelly or an ointment of your choice
  3. Cover the wound site with a suitable plaster, according to the size and place of the wound
  4. Make sure to change the plaster as required

It’s as simple as that, as long as you keep your wound protected in this way, it will heal faster than if it were left open to the air. Additionally, your diet also plays a part in how fast your body recovers from injuries, make sure you are eating right and include lots of proteins in your diet. Stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day. Now that you know how to heal your wounds fast, let’s take a look at what not to do when you’re treating wounds at home.

The dos and don’ts of wound care

The first and obvious don’t is, of course, to not leave the wound uncovered. Sticking a wound healing plaster on open wounds is the very first step to take. Here are some other errors to avoid:

Do not touch the wound with unwashed hands

Our hands have millions of bacteria on them at all times. While these bacteria may not be harmful on the outside, they can cause much havoc on the inside. When the skin gets cut, this barrier between the outside and the inside gets breached and the bacteria have free passage into your body. While our bodies can fight off unwanted bacteria to some extent, it is always better to touch open wounds with sanitized hands or sterile gloves only.

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Do not let soap touch your wound

This one goes without saying, you should never let your wound come into contact with soap or any other chemicals. This can be especially tricky when your wound is on your hands or fingers, like most kitchen accidents usually are, but one simple way around this is to cover your wound with a waterproof plaster. This will keep it safe from both water and soap, as prolonged contact with water causes swelling and hampers the healing of open wounds.

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Change the plaster regularly

How often do you just let your wound plaster stay on until it loses its stickiness and falls off by itself? For proper wound care, you need to ensure you replace your wound plaster before it reaches this sorry state, especially if your wound is leaking pus or discharging any fluids.

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Do not put pressure on the wound

The wound care process does not end once you apply a wound plaster, you have to make sure to take care of the injured area until it is healed. While it is advisable to put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding in the initial stage, you should avoid putting weight on it once it has started healing. 

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Do not pick at the scab

If you have not used a wound plaster, a protective scab will soon form around the wound. While it may be tempting to peel this scab off, this is a big no-no. Opening up a healing wound not only prolongs the healing process, it also makes it more likely to leave a permanent scar. Not to mention your wound will be re-exposed to bacteria and outside contaminants.

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Understanding what wound care is, and all the aspects of the wound healing process, is an important first step to properly treating wounds at home. Mishaps are common, but equipped with this wound care knowledge, you can better handle any situation that arises, and tend to your wounds with confidence.


Please note that the above recommendations are general care tips. Consult a health care professional in case of any uncertainty around wound treatment and healing.

Always see your doctor if a wound is deep, bleeding profusely or shows signs of infection. For diabetic patients especially, proper wound care holds the utmost importance. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or your podiatrist, even when it comes to minor wounds and cuts – especially if they’re on your feet.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Although compiled with great care, it is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult your doctor immediately. 

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email at customer.care@bdfindia.com