Main principles of healing

Wound healing times can vary, depending on the person and the type of wound. Times which vary according to the type of wound (acute or chronic, superficial, deep), but also according to the patient’s general condition and their lifestyle habits.

Acute wounds and chronic wounds have different healing times.  Acute wounds heal faster in around 2 to 4 weeks.  Some examples of acute wounds include burns, cuts and scratches.  Chronic wounds take longer to heal with the average healing time being 210 days or almost 7 months1.  Chronic wounds include ulcers and are often related to an underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease which need to be treated at the same time.

The normal wound healing stages include:

The 3 healing phases:

1. The inflammatory stage

After a wound occurs blood vessels at the site constrict (tighten) to prevent blood loss and platelets (special clotting cells) gather to build a clot. Blood vessels expand to allow maximum blood flow to the wound. White blood cells flood the area to destroy microbes and other foreign bodies. Skin cells multiply and grow across the wound.

2. The budding phase

The repair process continues. Collagen, the protein fibre that gives skin its strength starts to grow within the wound. The growth of collagen encourages the edges of the wound to shrink together and close. Small blood vessels (capillaries) forn at the site to service the new skin with blood. This skin appears red and shiny.

3. The maturation stage

Gradually the body adds more collagen and and finally closes. The new skin appears pinkish and thin. This scar often stays lighter than the skin around but scars tend to fade over time. We must take care of wounds for some time after they have healed. For the first weeks following healing , the new epidermis should not be exposed to the sun at all.

DID YOU KNOW? Scars, fans of moisturisation

After the long process of reconstruction, the skin deserves to be spoiled a little. Keeping it out of the sun (SPF 50 at all times), scars like being moisturised. Daily application of a moisturising cream nourishes the skin and “relaxes” the scar. No need to press too hard. A repeated, light, circular movement until the cream is absorbed is enough to be able to get the beneficial effects.

1- Report for the Minister of Social Security and the French Parliament on the progression in health insurance expenditure and revenue in 2014 (Law of 13 August 2004) – July 2013.