A wound is any break in your skin. It can be in the form of a graze, puncture, cut, tear or bruise. A skin wound that fails to heal, heals slowly or recurs should be treated as a chronic condition and requires special attention.
Symptoms are very visual and include:
- Blood – this will vary depending upon the severity. If the wound is on the face or head there will be plenty of blood due to the high amount of blood vessels in the area.
- If it is a nasty wound requiring stitches, foreign bodies to be removed or other medical attention, you may be feeling very weak and have symptoms of shock such as, anxiety, pale skin, reduced body temperature and altered respiration.
- There should be signs of healing within two days and it may take up to 14 days to heal and the scab to naturally fall off.
- The wound may become infected, usually within the first two days. The signs to look out for include – the wound becomes tender, inflamed, red streaks form near the wound, pus is present in the wound and in later stages fever develops and lymph glands are tender.
- As the wound heals, a scab forms. A scab is your body’s natural way of bandaging itself to protect it from dirt.
Why does it happen?
Wounds occur due to accidents, such as a nasty fall, a car accident or a nail puncture.
A wound can become infected due to bacteria entering the wound by the surrounding skin, air and most likely, the object that caused the wound in the first place.
What natural therapies can help?
Vitamin A – maintains structural and functional integrity of epithelial tissues
Orally vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc – are required for many processes involved in wound healing and tissue repair. Deficiency of zinc is relatively common in older people. Vitamin C is also necessary because it is involved in the production of collagen and elastin.
Calendula – topically, promotes wound healing. Traditionally regarded as the most effective healer in nature on cuts, grazes, leg ulcers and other wounds. Disinfect the wound before every application of calendula; tea tree oil is ideal for this purpose. Manuka honey is also specifically recommended to encourage ulcers to heal.
Gotu kola can be taken as a medicine or applied topically to promote the healing of wounds, ulcers and scars. Taking horsechestnut seed extract may help too if the circulation to the affected area is compromised such as in leg ulcers.
Comfrey is used externally to reduce inflammation and assist healing of skin and musculoskeletal injuries.
Arnica is used topically to reduce bruising, muscular aches any physical trauma.
Aloe vera – topically for burns
Did you know?
- Always seek medical attention if the person goes into shock, there is excessive bleeding, the wound needs medical intervention.
- Any wound that is still open after more than a few days warrants medical investigation.
- Tetanus is a very serious bacterial infection you can get through an open wound. It is also called “lockjaw,” because stiffness of the jaw is usually the first sign. You can get immunised against Tetanus and it is effective for 10 years. If it is overdue, you should seek medical advice.
- Initially the best first aid is to cleanse the wound with cool clean water.
Bleeding naturally helps clean out wounds and small wounds will stop bleeding in a few minutes. Larger wounds will take a bit longer to stop bleeding and will require direct pressure to control bleeding. Raise the injured part above heart level to help slow down the bleeding. Ensure that you always use sterile bandages and gloves with managing wounds.
- Non adherent sterile dressings are recommended for wounds. Change the bandage every day to keep the wound clean and dry. Apply creams with antiseptic or antibacterial properties to help protect the wound.