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Wound Care 101: 7 Natural Ways to Assist Wound Healing

By Annie Price, CHHC

January 3, 2019

Original article and page source found here.

Cuts and scrapes are common wounds most of us experience here and there, but do you know the natural ways to make these wounds heal well and fast? Most minor wounds are harmless and go away after a matter of days, but sometimes they can become infected, which is why it’s important to promote healing with proper wound care.

A wound can be defined as any damage or break in the surface of the skin. Trauma or skin breakdown are the main causes of wounds, which can be open or closed. Wounds are considered to be acute wounds if they are new. Wounds are considered to be chronic if they last longer than three to four weeks.

If you’re wondering how to heal cuts fast on the face and body, you’ve come to the right place. How does a wound heal faster? With proper initial wound care and continued attention to the wound, including some highly effective natural remedies, healing time can be shortened and unwanted side effects like infections and scarring can often be avoided.

Different Types of Wounds

The most basic classification of wounds is acute or chronic and open or closed, and then there are many subcategories under these classifications.

Some common types of wounds include:

  • Cuts

  • Burns

  • Scrapes

  • Puncture wounds

  • Pressure sores

Minor cuts like a paper cut can heal in just a couple of days. How long does it take for a deep wound to heal? It can really vary. For example, large or deep wounds due to surgery incisions can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to heal. Wound healing time can vary depending on several factors. It can take anywhere from days to weeks to months to years for wounds to completely heal.

The following factors can prevent or slow wounds from healing:

  • Infection

  • Diabetes

  • Poor blood flow

  • Obesity, which raises the risk of infection after surgery

  • Age … Older adults generally heal more slowly than younger people

  • Heavy alcohol, which can slow healing and increase infection risk

  • Smoking, which delays healing and increases the risk for complications such as infection and wounds breaking open

  • Stress, which can lead to a lack of sleep, an unhealthy diet and smoking/drinking more, which can slow healing

  • Taking certain medications including corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some chemotherapy drugs

Can Vaseline heal cuts? Vaseline, which is just petroleum jelly, is not a proven way to heal wounds or prevent scarring. If anything, it is very clogging to the skin. It can provide moisture, but there are many natural moisturizers like coconut oil that you can use instead (more on that later).

Stages of Wound Healing

If you take a look at wound healing stages pictures, you’ll see that there is a general process from the time a wound occurs to when it is fully healed.

There are four main stages or types of wound healing. What are the four stages of wound healing? This is a basic stages of wound healing timeline:

Stage 1 — Hemostasis Stage (Bleeding Stops): Proteins in your blood act like glue to make the platelets clump together and stick to the opening in the blood vessel to form a clot and stop bleeding from the wound area.

Stage 2 — Defensive/Inflammatory Stage: Blood platelets release special chemicals that cause inflammation, often resulting in swelling and redness around the wound area. Chronic inflammation is problematic, but this is a perfect example of temporary and helpful inflammation in the body. At this stage, infection-fighting white blood cells also make their way to the wound site to get rid of any bacteria and produce growth factors that will help to repair the wound area. This stage often lasts four to six days.

Stage 3 — Proliferative Stage (Skin Rebuilds): This is when your body starts building new skin cells, which includes providing the wound with oxygen and nutrients it needs to heal properly. Chemical messengers also signal skin cells to synthesize collagen, a key protein required to rebuild the damaged area. A reddish scar may form at this stage but can fade with time and the use of natural scar remedies. Stage 3 can be between four to 24 days.

Stage 4 — Maturation Phase: This final stage of healing mainly consists of the new skin becoming stronger. As the new skin tissue sets into place, it’s normal to observe some puckering or stretching around the wound area. This final stage can take anywhere from 21 days to two years.

7 Natural Wound Care Techniques

How can I make my wound heal faster? You may have been asking yourself this question before you came across this article. For minor wounds, clean your wound with running water and a gentle soap, dry it and then cover the wound with a sterile bandage. For more serious wounds, follow your healthcare provider’s wound care instructions.

If you’re looking for some additional natural remedies to help heal wounds fast, here are some great ideas:

1. Top Foods to Heal Wounds

If you’re looking for how to heal deep wounds faster, don’t forget about your diet! There are many healing foods that can help, including:

  • Green leafy vegetables: Kale, broccoli, spinach and other greens are high in vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.

  • Clean, lean protein: The body cannot rebuild lost tissue without protein. Try to get at least four to five ounces of organic, lean protein (such as wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef) per meal.

  • Wild-caught fish: Essential fatty acids found in foods like wild-caught fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are critical to help rapidly heal wounds.

2. Avoid Foods that Slow Healing

Then there are some foods you’ll want to avoid to encourage healing, including:

  • Alcohol: It can increase inflammation, which is counterproductive to healing.

  • Sugar and refined grains: These promote inflammation and can