Everyone gets cuts at some point in life due to using sharp objects, slipping, accidents, trauma, and other reasons that lead to a dent or scratch on the skin.
The time it takes for the wound to heal varies according to the type of wound and the degree of its depth.
In this article we learn about the stages of the wound to heal, and answer the question of when the open wound will heal ?
Open wounds that can be treated at home
The wound may be superficial and does not bleed a lot. It may be deep and reach the internal tissues and cause muscle and nerve damage, resulting in severe bleeding.
Fortunately, most of these wounds can be taken care of at home without the need to go to the hospital in the following cases :
- The wound is not very deep.
- The wound is hidden in the body, where the appearance of scars does not cause a problem, as in the face, for example. It is not desirable to have spots on the front.
- Bleeding is weak and may stop within 10 minutes with light pressure.
- The patient had received a tetanus injection in the previous ten years.
- The ability to completely clean the wound of any dirt or suspended objects.
Stages of open wound healing
When does an open wound heal ? An open wound goes through four stages until complete healing. We mention those stages as follows :
Bleeding cessation stage
The stage of stopping the bleeding is the first stage of wound healing, as the walls of the blood vessels narrow, allowing the passage of a small amount of blood, after which the platelets, which are from blood cells, rush in a few minutes to the site of the wound.
The proteins work to collect the platelets and stick them to the site of the wound in the bleeding blood vessel, forming a blood clot and stopping the bleeding.
Stage of inflammation
The body begins to clean and disinfect the wound itself as soon as the bleeding stops, so the following steps occur :
- The blood vessels relax a little to allow an appropriate amount of blood to reach the wound site, and this causes inflammation and redness in the wound area and a feeling of warmth in it, which means the beginning of wound healing.
- The blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the wound.
- White blood cells called macrophages also rush into the wound, fighting any external infection or foreign materials that have passed through the open wound.
- Elements called growth factors to help repair damaged areas.
- The work of white blood cells and growth factors results in a clear fluid oozing from the wound.
Building cells in the body to replace the damaged ones begins after the white cells clean the wound completely. The blood cells arrive loaded with oxygen and all the nutrients required for rebuilding.
New blood vessels grow, and cells produce collagen, the protein that builds and supports damaged tissues. A red scar forms at the site of the wound, but it gradually disappears.
All the elements needed for the wound to heal are now available, and it has already recovered from the outside. However, the healing process and the strengthening of the skin and tissues are still working.
The skin may appear wrinkled or very tight or have a pink color, the skin may feel sensitive, and the person may want to itch, all of these are signs of strengthening the skin and the stages of cohesion of the old tissue with the new.
To answer the frequently asked question, when does an open wound heal in children and adults ? The answer is that a wound can take days, months, and sometimes years to completely heal, depending on its location, type, and tissue depth.
Wound healing contraindications
Most wounds heal well and cleanly if they are taken care of properly, in terms of hygiene, disinfection, and dressing, and may not leave any scars or remain a small scar, which increases the chances of formation with large and deep wounds.
However, sometimes wound healing is delayed due to several factors and obstacles, including the following :
- Pick up the wound for infection.
- The patient has diabetes, one of the complications of delayed wound healing.
- Clogged arteries or varicose veins, and other conditions that impede blood flow.
- Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Stress, not getting enough sleep, and an unhealthy diet.
- Taking certain medications such as steroids and chemotherapy drugs.