About wound healing
As with most medical procedures, laser treatments can leave wounds which take some time to heal and require care to ensure they will heal effectively.
Wound healing of the skin has three main stages :
During the inflammatory stage, blood vessels at the site of the injury constrict to prevent blood loss and platelets gather to build a clot. Once the clot has formed, blood vessels expand to increase blood flow to the wound. This is why a healing wound appears warm and pink. White blood cells flood the area to destroy microbes and foreign bodies. Skin cells multiply and grow across the wound.
In the fibroblastic stage of healing, collagen starts to grow into the wound. This encourages the edges of the wound to shrink together and close. New capillaries form to support the new skin..
The final stage of healing – maturation – sees the body adding more collagen to the wound site and refining the wound. This may take months or even years. This is the reason that scars fade with time.
What can interfere with healthy wound healing?
Many things can affect how well a wound heals including:
- Mechanical damage eg rubbing from clothing, pressure from walking/sitting, etc
- Medical conditions such as diabetes, vascular disease or anaemia, which can all restrict blood flow to the area
- Disorders which suppress the immune system, which is the system that naturally keeps the body healthy and disease-free
- Diet – the restriction of nutrients can delay wound healing
- Age – young people heal more quickly
- Medications – some drugs can interfere with healing
- Smoking can impair blood flow which helps wound healing and it can increase the risk of complications
- Varicose veins indicate poor venous return and swelling in these veins can cause skin breakdown, which can result in delayed wound healing
Strategies for healthy and effective wound healing
There are a number of things you can do to support healthy and rapid wound healing.
1. Eat a healthy and wide ranging diet, including fruits and vegetables of many different colours, avoiding high fat, high sugar and processed foods.
2. Don’t smoke. We all know smoking negatively affects many aspects of health and is best avoided, not only for improved wound healing, but overall physical health.
3. Exercise regularly. Exercise improves general health, increases blood flow and speeds wound healing.
4. Don’t use antiseptic creams or washes because they can be toxic to cells involved in wound repair.
5. Manage chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, under the direction of specialist medical practitioners.
6. Use sunscreen. Wounds on the skin are particularly susceptible to sun damage
Subscribe to our mailing list for the latest in skin laser news and promotions from our clinic