As a population, we can cling to certain ideas for years – for decades, even – far longer than we should, as it turns out. In 1962, George Winter determined that healing can occur nearly twice as fast in a moist environment as it does in a dry environment, i.e. under a scab. Unfortunately, in caring for wounds, we still believe the best and most effective course of treatment is to let a wound air out, and scab over. Though it may seem contrary to our deeply-held beliefs, moist healing actually allows for increased functioning in the cells of a wound with less pain than dry wounds.
According to Nurse Brandi Martin, moisture is a key component for keeping every cell in the body alive and functioning. Cells require moisture to migrate from the wound edges to close a wound; therefore, wounds that are allowed to dry out will heal more slowly than those that have the benefit of moisture. Moist wounds heal faster and with a lower rate of infection compared to dry wounds. In addition, the formation of a scab may impede new skin growth across a wound, and may serve as a food source for infection-causing bacteria.
When caring for a wound, there are some simple steps to take, according to Luke Wachewicz, physical therapist and certified wound specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System:
- Cleanse the wound with water. Do not use hydrogen peroxide to cleanse wounds; it kills good cells.
- Use bandages. They are a simple, widely available and affordable.
- Watch for foul odor, streaks of redness, a mild fever and/or puss drainage as potential signs of infection. A singular sign, such as redness that is often the product of inflammation, is not as concerning as a cluster of signs.
- Avoid getting the wound too wet. If the surrounding tissue is turning white, it may indicate an early sign of tissue break down. To solve this problem, air dry the wound during dressing changes, change the dressing more often or cut small holes in the back of the dressing to promote evaporation.
- Change the dressing if it is dirty, damp or damaged.
Symbius Medical stocks the necessary supplies to help promote faster healing of your acute wound and promote overall well being. We offer Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) treatment programs and stock the necessary supplies to help promote faster healing of your acute wounds. We make it easy to reorder your wound care supplies too. Our customer service department is available to answer your questions and we will even take care of processing your insurance claim with your primary or secondary insurance provider. Contact our customer service department and learn more about our Monthly Supply Order Management Program.