Depending on the speed of healing, wounds are divided into acute and chronic. Acute wounds do not pose a serious medical problem because they heal quickly, usually within 2-7 days. Chronic wounds, on the other hand, are wounds that do not heal. The criterion of time after which one can speak about a chronic wound is not fully specified. Some authors consider a wound that does not heal within 1-2 weeks as chronic, while others extend this period to 6-8 weeks.
Factors that delay the wound healing process include: wound infection, presence of necrotic tissue in the wound, drying of the wound or excessive exudation in the wound, insufficient blood supply to the wound area, extent of the wound, damage to the wound e.g. by inadequate antiseptics, poor body condition e.g. Poor body condition, e.g. malnutrition, stress, weakened immunity, vitamin deficiencies, ischaemia, systemic infections, chronic co-morbidities such as diabetes, cancer, some medications such as chemotherapy, steroids, drugs that reduce blood clotting.
Wound healing time is determined by many factors: the nutritional status of the patient, his age, hydration, oxygen supply to tissues, hygiene, medications taken, and infections that occur. In order to accelerate the wound healing process and skin regeneration, appropriate treatment should be applied to create optimal conditions for wound healing. Ensuring proper moisture content in case of dry wounds, absorbing excess exudate in case of wet wounds and protecting the wound from external factors. For more serious wounds, the primary concern is to ensure adequate oxygen and nutrient access to the cells within the wound.
The presence of oxygen in wounds is an indisputable factor for their healing. It participates in many important processes: metabolism, angiogenesis, production of reactive forms of oxygen and remodeling. The deeper the oxygen goes into the wound, the faster the recovery proces is. Vitamin diet is an important element affecting surgical wounds, for example. Poor nutritional status results in a deficiency of nutrients, vitamins and trace elements needed for healing and essential to the immune system. Inadequate nutrition slows healing and increases the risk of wound infection.
It is important to supplement the amount of vitamin C in the body. This vitamin is involved in the formation of collagen, which is a kind of scaffolding for cells. Without vitamin C, the formation of new connective tissue between cells is hindered, and the lack of collagen deprives the skin of its elasticity and flexibility. Vitamin C can be supplied with the diet or supplemented in the form of special supplements. An important role is also played by protein, arginine, vitamins: A, E and zinc and selenium. Protein acts as a substrate for the immune system. Arginine is responsible for the activation of macrophages, and vitamins neutralize free radicals. Arginine can be found in red meat, poultry, milk and dairy products, whole grains, nuts, soy and lentils. Eggs, tuna, beef and dairy products are good sources of protein. Vitamin A can be found in egg yolk, whole milk, fatty fish, and red and orange colored vegetables. In addition, before surgery it is advisable to enrich the diet with omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, vitamin A and E, and vitamin B5.
The wound healing process is a complex one and involves many defense and regenerative mechanisms of our organism. The most important thing is to properly clean the wound, protect against bacterial agents and maintain a moist environment in the wound.