Acne, surgical operation, burns, wounds, injuries and accidents– what do these things have in common? Aside from the pain you will experience during and after the incident, these things could lead to scars. After all, scar formation is your skin’s biological way of repairing wounds and other damaged tissues in your body.
The question now is this: Is there a way to improve wound healing to minimize scar formation?
The answer is yes. The rate and ability of healing varies from person to person. There are people who heal faster and don’t form any scars. On the other hand, other people have slow healing rates and are more prone to scars. If you are one of them, then don’t worry. Here are dozen ways to encourage your skin to heal faster, sans the infection and pain.
1. Check The Wound And The Condition Of The Skin
The concept may be the same, but wounds come in different shapes, sizes, types and levels of severity. Before buying any antibacterial ointment and anti-scar soaps, make sure to check the wound and the area around it.
Since wounds are different from each other, it only follows that the steps you need to take to promote faster healing are different, too. Once you are able to identify your wound, you can easily devise a strategy on how to help your skin heal.
For instance, if the skin is irritated but not broken, then stay away from hot water for now. If there is cracked skin on the abrasion, then covering it with gauze will help. If the wound is neither healing nor looks worse, it could be a sign of an infection.
In other words, take time to assess the wound before you decide to work on it, but don’t play doctor with your health. If you are at all unsure, consult your doctor for medical advice.
2. Keep It clean
This is the cardinal rule when it comes to wounds and healing. As much as possible, always clean the affected site. For open wounds, make sure to wash only the area around the affected site.
If blood or pus is present, using moistened gauze could help in cleaning the area. Then, apply an antibiotic treatment and gauze to speed up healing and prevent irritation.
On the other hand, daily washing is important for dry and closed wounds. Moisturizing the area with a lotion cleanser once it closes up could do a lot in boosting your skin’s healing process.
3. If Needed, Use Bandages
Dry, non-opened wounds are easier to manage. What happens if you have open wounds? In this case, covering the area with bandage is a must.
This ensures that the area is clean and prevents it from becoming dirty. At the same time, covering the affected area with bandage promotes healing, while reducing further trauma.
You can opt for the ordinary gauze to cover the wounded area. However, some bandages come with certain substances that help keep the wound area and moist. When you use bandages, just make sure that the bandage’s adhesive doesn’t touch any part of the wound. That would be painful when you attempt to remove it later.
4. Moisturize The Area
Aside from washing the wounded area and the area around it to keep it clean, did you know that moisturizing it could boost your skin’s healing ability?
Come to think of it. You use moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and supple. The same concept goes with the skin’s healing process. Moisturizer keeps the area moist, thereby it prevents any scarring. When it comes to moisturizers for wounds, petroleum jelly is a good place to start. Just make sure that when you moisturize, the wound is fully closed.
5. Consider Power Foods
Did you know that nourishing your body is a simple, but effective way to help your skin heal completely? Believe it or not, even the food that goes inside your body could affect your body’s ability to heal when under trauma or pain. Here are the best nutrients to consume when it comes to wound healing.
- Protein – This is the building block of healthy tissues, thereby minimizing the appearance of scars.
- Vitamin A –Based on a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vitamin A initiates the reparative behavior in tissues to speed up your skin’s healing process.
- Vitamin C– This vitamin helps in forming new connective tissues in the wounded area. It is also critical in collagen formation.
- Zinc–This nutrient plays an important role in DNA synthesis, inhibition of bacterial growth and cell division among others.
6. Go For Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation is among the many factors that dictate your skin’s ability to heal in a short time. If you want to help your skin heal faster, then make sure to decrease foods that could cause inflammation and increase foods that don’t.
To address inflammation issues, increase omega-3 fatty acids intake. You could get it from walnuts, olive oil, tuna, avocado, salmon, sunflower and flax seeds. Fruits and fresh vegetables such as pepper, cilantro, ginger, dark leafy greens and citrus fruits are also effective in decreasing inflammation.
Consequently, avoid corn oil, peanut oil, white rice, sugar and saturated fats. These foods do nothing but increase inflammation, which is something your wound doesn’t need. They slow down the healing process, as well.
7. Increase Your Protein Intake
You already know that you need a variety of nutrients to take your body’s ability few levels higher. This is where the importance of protein comes in.
Protein is the building block of healthy tissues. At the same time, it helps repair damaged tissues, which could speed up your skin’s ability to heal. Given these benefits, it is safe to say that adding a serving meat in your daily diet could make healing process faster.
Lean meat, eggs, chicken, nuts, fish and beans are good sources of protein.Whole grains, seeds and soy products could also give your body the ample amount of protein it needs to help heal your skin faster. As much as possible, let go of all empty calorie foods such as white bread, white pasta, alcohol, soda and anything with high levels of sugar.
8. Consider Manuka Honey
Who would’ve thought that bee’s product could help heal your skin? For thousands of years, people have used honey to as wound dressing to speed up healing, thanks to its anti-microbial factors.
If you really want something that would fight infection on wounds, then manuka honey is your best bet.
Manuka honey is made with pollen from the flowers of Manuka bush. According to various studies, this type of honey is effective in treating hundreds of strains of bacteria including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). At the same time, it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, which could help your skin heal faster.
9. Boost Your Vitamin C
Aside from protein, vitamin C is another nutrient that could accelerate healing. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which helps fight free radicals that are not just harmful to your wound but also your overall health.
However, the biggest contribution of this vitamin in terms of healing is it helps generate collagen. In return, this substance will help heal wounds and prevent the formation of scar tissue.
Citrus fruits have the highest source of vitamin C. Oranges, cantaloupe melons, pineapples, kiwi, lemons and berries could give you the ample supply for this vitamin. However, there are veggies that are also rich in vitamin C. This includes broccoli, tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and green and red peppers.
10. Don’t Forget Zinc
Another nutrient that should be included in your “How to Heal Wounds” list is zinc. In fact, it is one of the most important and essential minerals your body needs because of its ability to maintain health.
Zinc could be helpful in wound care. Any injury or trauma on your skin means your body will need more skin cells to repair it immediately.
This mineral could replicate skin cells faster to help heal cuts and wounds. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that could aid if faster closing of wounds.
If you want to try this, a topical application of zinc supplements works better and faster than taking it orally.
11. Try Aloe Vera
Since time immemorial, aloe vela is among those plants used in herbal medicine. Even in wound care, the aloe vera plant will always have a special place in the list.
According to a 2012 study published in the Conchrane database of systematic reviews, animal studies show that aloe vera could accelerate the wound healing process.
Take aloe vera internally and apply on the affected area topically.
12. Add Turmeric In Your Diet
Surprised? It turns out that this spice is effective in healing wounds and other injuries to the skin. In fact, Indians use turmeric to treat wounds when there is no other medication available.
This is because this spice has curcumin, a substance known to speed up wound healing in animals. It is also anti-inflammatory and has antibiotic properties, which could be useful in treating wounds.
Add it in your dishes, add it with olive oil or garlic to make a paste or eat a teaspoon full.
Some of these remedies may or may not work for you. Before you do any of the treatments mentioned, make sure to consult a doctor, especially when the gravity of your wound is severe. Your doctor can determine whether or not an infection is present and provide the best care for your wound.