Understanding The 4 Stages Of Wound Healing
Our skin does some incredible things! It helps regulate our temperature, wards off potential invaders, and is literally the one thing that holds us together. One of the most spectacular efforts the skin is capable of , however, is regeneration. The moment that you get a cut, scrape, burn, or have surgery, your skin instantly begins a process of healing that helps ensure that everything inside stays safe.
Think about that the next time you get frustrated with a scar that never seems to go away! That discoloured area on your skin is an attribute of a process that keeps your skin healthy, clean, and functioning at a high level; and for those of you who want to appreciate that process without actually seeing your scar as a reminder, we've got products for that.
So, how does the skin actually do all of this? It really breaks down to an easily understood four-phase process of wound healing.
The Stages Of Wound Healing
The wound healing process has 4 phases: hemostasis, the inflammatory phase, the proliferative phase, and the maturation phase. Each one is important, but let’s take a closer look at how all of these stages work together to heal the skin.
Stage #1: Hemostasis. Hemostasis occurs within the very first moments of receiving an injury. Its purpose is to stop the bleeding of an injury and to seal it off from the external world. Basically, the blood that is sent to the wound begins to coagulate. That's a fancy word for saying the blood is changing from a liquid to a gel! This stage of the wound healing process seals the damage until the tissue is repaired.
Stage #2: Inflammatory Phase. Once the wound has been sealed, it’s time to be cleaned! This stage is all about cleansing the wound area. Your vessels actually contract and clot to allow cells that are specialised for cleaning to enter the wound area. These are your antibodies, white blood cells, enzymes, growth factors, and nutrients. The inflammatory phase is essential to protecting your health during the wound healing process.
Stage #3: Proliferative Phase. Next, your skin begins to rebuild itself during the proliferative phase. It starts with epithelialisation, which seals both sides of the wound. As the inflammatory phase ends, granulation tissue begins to form out of collagen and extracellular matrix to rebuild the structure of the skin. Collagen is a protein that is crucial for tissue fortification and scar formation. Angiogenesis, or increased blood flow, is also initiated to bring nutrients and energy to the building tissue. The wound itself begins to contract at this time.
Stage #4: Maturation Phase. The maturation phase is all about strengthening and finishing the newly-made connections between the old and new tissues, as well as the development of the scar. Collagen forms strong cross-links between the wounded areas and thickens the newly-formed tissue. In the maturation phase, the collagen and skin cells are “remodeled.” This phase can take quite a while to fully develop. Scar management products like our silicone sheeting, scar cream, and scar gel are a great tool to help accelerate the process.
It’s important to understand how the stages of wound healing work in order to ensure that you know how to best treat your injury. If you're concerned about scars, remember to clean your wound while it is in the early phases of wound healing. Then, once you reach the latter stages in the wound healing process, you can begin scar management with Rejuvaskin’s silicone scar products. The combination of all of these steps will help improve the appearance of scars and restore your skin’s natural beauty!