Want to better understand some of the advantages of moist wound healing? We’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll discuss some of the benefits of moist healing for wound care. We’ll also let you know how much moisture is needed and how wound moisture can be controlled. But first, what’s the history of it?
What is the History of Moist Wound Healing?
The history of wound care is very interesting. Wound care procedures have changed over the years. While dry gauze dressings were the norm years ago, moist wound healing is where it’s at now. But, the idea isn’t new. It was first defined as a concept in the early 1960’s when George D. Winter, a British clinical researcher, conducted a research series on the topic. He realized that creating a moist healing environment is beneficial to wound healing. By the 1970’s and 1980’s the concept took off. There were a bunch of new, innovative products being made – and products like bacitracin and neosporin got put into the spotlight after years of use in only medical settings. Now products to promote wound moisture were commonly found in homes. For the first time ever, products like dressings were seen as important for wound healing. Here are some of the early products, made, manufactured, or invented in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.
A Look at Today: Moist Wound Healing Now
While Dr Winter’s research catapulted moist wound healing to the front of wound care, there is so much we’ve learned since then. We now understand why wound healing thrives in a moist environment. It’s because of several parallel processes that occur at once.
Why does Wound Moisture Promote Healing?
First of all, a moist wound environment prevents a scab or crust from forming over the bed of the wound, thus eliminating the time and energy your body would have spent to create and break down those functions.
Next, enzymes get trapped within a wet wound bed, which facilitates faster healing through autolytic debridement. Also, it takes less keratinocyte-travel time to go across the surface of the wound. That’s because healing cells can more easily migrate in a moist wound bed. Therefore, moist environments save your body lots of time, energy, and effort. Also, keeping the wound moist increases fibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis.
Advantages of Moist Wound Healing
What are the advantages of moist wound healing? There are many. Here we’ll outline some of the most important ones.
- A moist wound will heal much faster than a dry wound – approximately 2 to 3 times faster.
- A moist wound is more efficient
- Promotes cell growth
- Promotes proliferation
- Increases collagen
- Increases the proliferation of fibroblasts
- Slows angiogenesis
- Slows wound contraction
- May reduce pain
- May reduce scarring
- Allows for a smooth transition into each of the three phases of healing. It lessens the amount of time you’re in the inflammatory phase. It also speeds up the proliferative phase. It cuts down on the time and intensity of scab formation.
- Autolytic debridement occurs naturally in a moist environment because moist wounds trap enzymes.
How Much Wound Moisture is Needed?
When it comes to wound moisture balance, there are still things we don’t know. There’s no simple way to figure out the amount of moisture needed. That said, there are some things to look out for. Here we’ll explore some of the things you should look out for to determine if a wound is too wet or too dry.
Too Wet or Too Dry?
- Delayed healing is a sign of too much moisture
- Infection often means too much moisture
- Look for maceration. A macerated wound indicates too much moisture. The risk of infection increases when a wound is macerated.
- Wounds that require debridement are often too dry
- If a wound is too dry, your wound care specialist may remove necrotic tissue to reveal a moist environment that will speed healing
Moisture is important for wound healing. This is something scientists always surmised, but it wasn’t publicly known until Dr George D. Winter released his findings on the subject. Once people realized moisture was good for wounds, companies began to invent products to produce and regulate moisture. If you think your wound has too much moisture, there are certain signs you can look out for, including maceration. You can use certain products that will regulate the amount of moisture and dryness in a wound.
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.