To heal a wound quickly, in addition to being careful with the dressing, it is also important to eat healthy and avoid other harmful lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages or having a sedentary lifestyle.
This is mainly because the circulation is impaired and, therefore, there is not enough blood reaching the wound to allow proper healing, delaying the healing of the wound. However, it is always important to keep the wound clean to avoid an infection that, in addition to delaying healing, can also impair overall health.
Thus, some steps that guarantee faster healing and prevent the appearance of ugly scars and other complications, are:
1. Wash the wound and make a dressing
In simple wounds, such as a cut or scratch, the first step should be to wash the wound and the surrounding skin to remove as many bacteria and viruses as possible, preventing the development of an infection. This washing can be done with saline, but also with water and soap of neutral pH.
In surgical wounds or those that are more severe and exposed, although washing is also indicated, it should generally be done with saline and sterile material and, therefore, it is very important to go to the hospital. However, if the wound is very dirty, you can pour a little serum to remove the dirt before going to the hospital.
Then, a dressing should be applied, at least during the first 24 hours, while the crust has not yet formed, in order to prevent bacteria from entering the environment in the wound. Here’s how to make a dressing correctly .
2. Apply heat to the wound for 15 minutes
Applying a hot compress over the dressing or the wound for 15 minutes helps to increase blood flow to the region, increasing the amount of nutrients and cells in the area, accelerating healing. This technique can be done between 2 to 3 times a day, but it should only be done after the cone has formed.
If the area becomes very swollen or causes pain, you should remove the compress and avoid applying heat during that day or else apply the compress for less time.
3. Keep the wound high
When the wound site is swollen for more than 2 days it is important to try to elevate the wound, to reduce fluid accumulation and facilitate blood circulation. This type of swelling is more common in people who have heart or circulation problems and usually occurs in sores on the legs. Thus, it is important to place the legs about 20 cm above the level of the heart, at least 3 times a day or whenever possible.
4. Eat omega 3 and vitamins A, C and E
Foods rich in omega 3, with salmon, tuna or chia seeds, as well as those rich in vitamin A, C and E, such as orange, mango, tomato or peanut, are a great way to strengthen the organism and stimulate the formation of the tissue that closes the wounds and helps in the creation of the new layer of skin.
Thus, making a richer diet in this type of food and avoiding others that hinder healing, such as sugar, soft drinks, chocolate milk or fatty pork, for example, is an excellent way to ensure a faster cure of the wound. Check out a more complete list of healing foods and those you should not eat .
5. Apply a healing ointment
Healing ointments are also a good option to accelerate healing, as they provide important nutrients for the regeneration of the new skin layer, in addition to still reducing inflammation that makes healing difficult.
However, they should only be used about 3 to 5 days after the appearance of the wound and under the guidance of a doctor or nurse, as some ointments may contain antibiotics, without being necessary for the treatment of the wound. See the list of the best healing ointments .
How healing occurs
Healing is a repair process that can be divided into 3 main phases:
- Inflammatory phase : lasts between 1 to 4 days and begins with a constriction of the blood vessels, to prevent bleeding. But then, this phase evolves to the dilation of the vessels, so that the blood arrives at the site with all the cells necessary for healing, generating symptoms such as swelling, redness and pain;
- Proliferative phase : lasts between 5 to 20 days and, in this phase, the formation of collagen and other fibers that help to close the wound begins;
- Maturation phase : it is the longest phase that can last from 1 month to several years, in which the body continues to produce collagen and correct the balance of wounds in the scar, which allows it to decrease over time.
When any of these phases does not happen, either due to lack of blood in the region or an infection, healing is compromised and a chronic wound can appear, as in the case of the diabetic foot, in which the wound needs to be treated by a nurse for several months or even years.
Alarm signals to go to the doctor
Although most wounds heal without any complications, there is always a chance of having an infection in place, for example. Thus, it is important to go to the hospital if signs such as:
- Intense swelling that does not improve after 3 days;
- Presence of pus in the wound;
- Excessive bleeding;
- Very intense pain;
- Difficulty moving the affected limb.
In addition, other symptoms such as persistent fever or excessive tiredness can also indicate that the wound is infected and, therefore, should also be evaluated.