The Truth about water and healing Wound Plaster | Hansaplast

Tips to Protect Wounds from Water to Heal them Faster – Can saltwater help wounds heal? Various types of water – including saltwater – can actually complicate the healing process.

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Fact vs fiction

We must separate fact from fiction when talking about faster wound healing. Although you may have heard people associating saltwater with healing, it actually has the opposite effect. Moisture causes the skin around the wound to swell this, in turn, complicates the healing process. It not only affects healing but also gives an entryway for bacteria to enter the wound, thereby increasing the risk of infection.

Waterproofing is the answer

No matter where you find yourself, whether you are at the beach, doing the dishes or going for a swim, keep your wounds protected at all times. You can do this by using waterproof bandages that stay securely in place – even during prolonged contact with water. They should form an unbreachable barrier between the water and your wound, keeping it safe from bacteria and other irritants. Pick a breathable and flexible waterproof plaster that doesn’t restrict your mobility.

Understanding the risk

Different types of water, such as saltwater, pool water or tap water, come with their own particular risk to wound treatment. Here are some of the water-related risks that people are most frequently exposed to and the potential dangers they possess.

The healing powers of saltwater are primarily a myth.

Salt water

A lot of people say that seawater boosts the wound treatment process – but is that really true? In reality, there are a lot of impurities present in the water in coastal areas and in stagnant bodies of water. They tend to contain high concentrations of germs that multiply rapidly at warm temperatures. The risk of wound infection increases when you come in contact with contaminated water, which is why the healing powers of saltwater are primarily a myth.

It’s also important to protect wounds against tap water.

Tap water

Even though tap water is generally cleaner, it is advisable to protect your wound from prolonged direct contact with tap water. This is especially important when the wound is still fresh and just beginning to heal. Water and moisture is one factor that can cause the skin to swell, in turn, this impairs wound healing. Hand soap, shampoo, shower gel and detergent can also further irritate the wound. Before showering or bathing, make sure to use a waterproof bandage to completely cover the wound. If the wound stays dry, there will be minimal interruptions in the healing process.
Wounds need also to be protected against chlorinated water, it can also slow the healing process, and bacteria in public pools can infect wounds.

Chlorinated water

There are many invisible dangers at public swimming pools, such as the bacteria that loom in unsanitary water and heavy chlorination. If bacteria comes in contact with an open wound it can get infected, likewise, chlorine in water causes unnecessary irritation and slows down the wound treatment process. Always remember to take special care when you’re going to be in contact with chlorinated water or at a public swimming pool. Carry waterproof bandages with you in your swim bag to stay on the safe side.


The best protection is prevention

The best protection is prevention, here are some tips to help you keep your wound secure and out of trouble:

Here are some tips:

Never skip pre-swim showers

There’s a reason why you are told to rinse off before getting in the pool. Skipping the shower means that you are carrying lots of dirt and bacteria with you into the water. A quick shower before jumping in is enough to wash away up to 90% of sweat, dead skin and product residue.

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Dry your feet thoroughly and use flip flops

One simple way to protect yourself against infection at public swimming pools is to wear flip flops instead of walking barefoot. It is also important to thoroughly dry your feet after every swim or shower, especially in between your toes. Since this is an area that is often overlooked, it is particularly at risk of fungal infections. The space in between your toes provides the ideal warm and moist environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.

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Always cover wounds with waterproof plasters

It's not possible to stay away from water completely. You will need to wash your hands, take a shower or wash the dishes and your wound is bound to come into contact with water. Using a waterproof plaster for wounds from the beginning over a regular one will save you a lot of trouble.

Read more about wound treatment here: Better Protection for Better Healing

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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 any 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. 

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