Knowing about the wound healing stages can offer insight on how your body works when you recover from injuries. People can suffer injuries small or big throughout their life. Remember, your body is a complex machine. The healing process of the wound is dynamic and mind-blowing. So, the different systems in the body and the wound care products you use can work together to heal and repair the affected tissues. It replaces the devitalized tissues in the body and alleviates pain. When you suffer from injuries, your body undergoes a series of automatic events.
The events also known as the cascade of healing can help you overcome the trouble due to the wounds. The different phases involved in the healing process leading to complete healing of the skin, tissue, and other affected parts. Based on the severity of the wound, it takes time for the complete healing process. The wound healing is divided into four overlapping phases. Wound healing is a fragile process. So, different factors can interrupt or cause failure in healing. Knowing about the four stages in detail can help you take the necessary precaution. Therefore, you can deal with the injury and recover from it as early as possible.
What Do You Mean By Wound Healing Stages?
You can encounter different types of wounds. It can take different care procedures as well as time periods for complete healing. Smaller wounds can take less time to heal compared to deeper wounds. Deep or severe wounds take more time and care to heal it properly. Therefore, your healing process depends on several factors like:
- The origin of your wound
- Wound Dressings
- Care and attention you offer to the wound
Irrespective the type of the wound, you go through similar or same healing stages. The natural physiological reaction to your injury can go through four stages. The complex phenomenon involves an interplay between your different cell types, mediators, cytokines, and the vascular system. So, the different wound healing stages are:
- Hemostasis Phase
- Inflammatory Phase
- Proliferative Phase
- Maturation Phase
Learn about the different healing stages and the transformation occurring in your body. Read ahead to get comprehensive information about the different wound healing stages in detail.
One Of The Primary Phase Of Wound Healing Stages: Hemostasis Phase
Hemostasis is the first phase in the wound healing stages. It begins immediately after you sustain an injury. The primary objective of the phase is to stop the bleeding immediately and prevent further complications. During the phase, your body activates several systems like emergency repair system, your blood clotting system, and develops a dam to block any drainage. So, your wound can close due to blood clotting. During this process, platelets come into contact with collagen, resulting in activation and aggregation. An enzyme called thrombin is at the center, and it initiates the formation of a fibrin mesh, which strengthens the platelet clumps into a stable clot.
Working Of Hemostasis
During the hemostasis phase of the wound healing stages, your blood vessels constrict. It is to avoid further blood flow. After preventing blood flow, your platelets stick together. So, the platelets can together seal the break that happens at the wall of your blood vessel. Finally, blood coagulation occurs. It reinforces your platelet plug with fibrin threads. The fibrin threads are nothing but molecular binding agent.
Remember, the hemostasis stage happens quickly. The platelets stick to each other within seconds of blood vessel rupture of your epithelial wall. Then, the fibrin strands adhere within sixty seconds. Once the fibrin threads mesh, your blood transforms from liquid to get. It occurs due to the release of pro-coagulants and prothrombin. The thrombus formation also referred to as clots keep the blood trapped in the wound site. So, it prevents the risk of platelets and blood cells from leaking. In normal cases, the thrombus can help with wound healing. But, when it detaches itself from the blood vessel wall, you can face severe complication. The blood clot can go through the circulatory system and trigger pulmonary embolism, stroke or heart attack.
Second Phase Of Wound Healing Stages: Inflammatory Phase
The phase, also known as the defensive phase focuses on cleaning the bacteria from your wound. It also removes the debris and other elements from the wound bed. So, the phase provides a clean wound bed, which helps new tissue growth. The inflammatory phase essentially prepares the wound bed for new tissue. Some amazing functions occur during the inflammatory phase of wound healing stages. It occurs right after you sustain an injury. After you get injured, the affected blood vessels leak transudate. The transudate contains water, protein, and salt. Transudate can trigger localized swelling. So, the defensive phase takes control of the injury by controlling the bleeding and preventing infection. You may feel like the swelling is triggering distress. But, in reality, the fluid bump allows the healing as well as repair cells to move to the injury site.
Importance Of Inflammatory Phase
Phase 2 of wound healing stages holds utmost importance. At this stage, the damaged cells, pathogens, and bacteria get flushed out from the wound area. Wondering how it is possible? Neutrophils, a type of white blood cells enter your wound site. It has the ability to destroy the harmful bacteria and other elements from the wound. Neutrophils can reach its peak population between 24 to 48 hours after you sustain the injury. The special white blood cells reduce in number by day three. Once the white blood cells leave, macrophages arrive. It is the specialized cells that clear the debris from the wound site. The special cells also secrete proteins and growth factors. So, it can attract immune cells to your injury site. The proteins and growth cells can facilitate tissue repair.
The inflammatory phase can from four to six days. While you undergo the phase, you can experience erythema, edema, heat, as well as pain. So, you can see the reddening of the injury site, swelling, tenderness, among other signs. The inflammatory phase is the natural part of the wound healing stages. So, you never have to worry about experiencing the phase. But, if the phase prolongs or becomes excessive, then you need to see your doctor. It indicates some problem, which needs medical attention immediately.
One Of The Important Wound Healing Stages: Proliferative Phase
It is the third phase of the wound healing stages. It focusses on filling and covering of the wound site after cleaning it completely. The proliferative phase has three distinct stages that help cover the skin on the injury site. So, the stages of proliferative phase are:
Filling The Wound
It is the first stage of the proliferative phase involving filling of the wound site. So, deep red, shiny granulation tissue fills your wound bed. The mechanism allows the rebuilding of the wound with new connective tissue as well as new blood vessels. The new tissue made of extracellular matrix and collagen helps cover the affected skin. To regain the function of the injured skin, new tissues and a new network of blood vessels forms. It helps to form healthy granulation tissue, which receives the necessary oxygen and other nutrients.
Contraction Of Your Wound Margin
It is the stage that pulls the wound margins towards the center of your injury by contraction. So, your skin starts to close the wound during the contraction stage. You can wonder how it happens. Your body uses myofibroblasts to contract the wound. It grips the wound edges and pulls them together. The mechanism is similar to the smoothening of muscle cells. You need to pay attention during the stage as the wound gets affected by the infection. The visible appearance of the granulation tissue provides the necessary information. Therefore, if you find pink or red granulation tissue with uneven texture, then it means healthy wound healing. The healthy granulation tissue never bleeds easily. But, dark granulation indicates problems. It means poor perfusion, infection or ischemia. So, you need to consult your doctor immediately.
It is the final stage of the proliferative phase. The stage is significant in covering the wound. It involves arising of epithelial cells from your wound beds or margins. It migrates in a leapfrog fashion across your wound bed to cover the injury site with epithelium. So, the epithelial cells resurface the injury. You need to maintain caution during the phase. Sufficient hydration and maintaining moisture can speed up the epithelialization process. Therefore, your doctor applies occlusive or semi-occlusive dressings on your wound within forty-eight hours after the injury. It aids in maintaining the correct humidity required for the tissue to optimal epithelialization.
Depending on the severity of your injury, the proliferative phase can last from four to twenty-four days.
Final Phase Of Wound Healing Stages: Maturation Phase
The phase is also referred to as the remodeling stage of your wound healing. It is the phase when the collagen fibers reorganize. So, it leads to the remodeling of the tissues, which attains maturity. Therefore, you can see the increase in the tensile strength of the affected skin. But, you can only attain a maximum of 80% of the pre-injured strength. So, you can feel weakness compared to the uninjured skin. During the phase, the collagen in your skin remodels and helps the closing of the wound. Several cells involve themselves in the repairing of your wound. The cells no longer needed are removed by programmed cell death or apoptosis.
The third phase of wound healing stages, the proliferative phase, lays collagen. The disorganized and thick layer of collagen is laid down on the recovering injury. The maturation phase helps to close the wounds by aligning the collagen along the tension lines. The reabsorption of water also occurs during the phase, which helps the collagen fibers to lie closer as well as cross-link to the wound. It is an important phase that makes the skin on the wound site strong. The cross-linking of collagen helps reduce scar thickness. Therefore, the phase is important for improving the visible appearance of the wound as well as the enhancing strength of the affected site.
Factors Affecting Wound Healing Stages
As mentioned earlier, the different wound healing stages can suffer due to different factors. The complex, as well as the fragile process of healing, can fail when such adverse factors influence it. It can lead to chronic wounds, which can trigger severe complications in your body. So, the factors you need to maintain caution while suffering from an injury are:
People with CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency) can occur when the valves and/or venous walls of your leg vein may not work effectively. So, it becomes difficult for blood to return to legs from your heart. It can have a direct impact on your wound healing stages. The pooling of blood (also known as stasis) can lead to skin damage and non-healing wounds. The skin irritation can trouble you leading to chronic wounds.
When your wounds become infected, pathogenic organisms can invade the viable tissues surrounding the affected site. So, it leads to the excavation and localized defect of the soft tissues. The infection of your injury can severely affect wound healing stages by triggering the immune response of the body. Therefore, it can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. It can slow down the healing process.
The high sugar levels can cause the wounds to take a longer duration of time to heal. So, it increases your chance of infection. It elevates your chance of developing severe complications. People with diabetes need to manage the problem to speed up the healing process. It reduces the chances of developing severe infections.
The deficiency of certain vitamins can affect the wound healing stages. The problem is severe among elderly patients who never get enough nutrients from their diet. The slow metabolism due to advanced age can deprive the body of essential nutrients.
When you suffer from an injury, take care of your body. You can overcome the problem only with careful wound care. You need to keep the wound site clean and moist. It is also essential to protect it from re-injury as well as an infection.
Steps To Speed Up Wound Healing Stages
You can speed up the different wound healing stages by following a healthy plan. Making small yet significant changes in your life can make a big difference. So, you can follow the pointers suggested below to alleviate the wounds and get relief.
People who smoke can see its adverse effects on their health. So, if you suffer from injury, you need to quit smoking. People thinking about quitting the bad habit can take it as the best sign to quit. Nicotine in the cigarettes can tighten your blood vessels. So, it prevents the essential nutrients from reaching the affected site required to heal and repair your wound. The lack of nutrients can affect the wound healing stages and slow down the time required for alleviating the problem.
Elevate The Wound
When you elevate your wound site, it can avoid swelling. Swelling can restrict the blood flow and absorption of essential nutrients needed for wound healing stages. So, you need to elevate the affected area at least 3 to 4 times a day. You need to elevate it for at least fifteen to thirty minutes to avoid swelling. Try to use pillows to keep it under the affected area while you lie down. It will minimize the chances of swelling.
When you suffer an injury, you never think about getting exercise. Including physical exercise in your physical routine can help the wound healing stages. The regular physical activity can improve your blood circulation and increase the absorption of the nutrients. You can include strength training and aerobic exercise. While you may not feel like exercising, you can speed up the healing process with different physical activities. Try to include, walking, biking, swimming or dancing. So, with increasing physical activity, you can experience a visible difference in your wound healing. Get the motivation to complete the routine to enjoy the advantages.
Include Healthy Diet
You need to consume a healthy diet rich in nutrients to speed up the healing. Eating a nutritious diet will improve blood flow. So, your body can absorb the essential nutrients. Vitamins like A, E, and C, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and magnesium are essential for healthy blood flow. Therefore, try to add good foods. The following food items can improve the blood circulation to the skin and have a positive influence on the wound healing stages:
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Bell Peppers
Your body has a complex healing process, which can blow your mind. The biological process in your body has four phases. So, when you achieve the wound healing stages precisely, it ensures a speedy recovery. You have to undergo the highly programmed phases without any interruption from the local or systemic factors. When the stages occur in proper sequence and specified time frame, your body replaces devitalized tissue. Therefore, try to avoid moisture, infections, nutritional deficiency, and other systemic factors to provide the right healing environment. It will help your body to work in wondrous ways to alleviate the problem.View Article Sources