A skin wound is a physical trauma or injury to the skin tissues resulting in their damage.
Wounds can be chronic (for example, skin ulcers) and acute (cuts, scrapes, abrasions, animal or insect bites, etc.). Cuts, scrapes and abrasions belong to the open wounds, which can easily be infected, thus they need to be treated even if they seem to be only minor skin traumas. Bruises, on the other hand, belong to the closed wounds, which are characterized by the unharmed outer layer of the skin and injured underlying tissues.
A cut is a result of cutting or incision by a sharp instrument. Cuts look like lines on the skin with even edges. They can be short or long, shallow or deep.
Abrasions and scrapes occur when the skin is torn or worn off. These wounds can usually be treated at home, since they are superficial and cause only minor bleeding, if any.
Skin wounds appear as a result of injury (cutting, tearing, piercing) or irritation (rubbing, scratching). Most often they are made by a hard object or instrument forcefully driven at the skin either on purpose or incidentally.
Skin can be damaged by the falls, negligent use of sharp objects, as well as during surgical procedure or intentional violent behavior.
When skin is wounded it gets torn and broken. The usual symptoms include local pain, bleeding, bruising, sometimes swelling and reddening. Bleeding is most often associated with cuts. Abrasions look like lines of scraped skin with tiny spots of bleeding.
Although such wounds as cuts, abrasions, and scrapes are not life-threatening conditions, they may become infected, resulting in serious complications (for example, the development of skin ulcers). Signs of infection are: reddening, swelling, warmth or fever in the affected area, and presence of pus in the wound.
The first aid in treating skin wounds include:
- washing the affected area to get rid of dirt;
- applying an antiseptic lotion or cream to avoid infection (alcohol can be a good substitute in this case);
- stopping the bleeding by putting a clean bandage or cloth and pressing it to the wound; dressing can be changed several times before the bleeding stops;
- the whole area should be covered with a bandage applied tightly to keep it on place.
Heavy bleeding can be stopped by elevating the wound (if it is on the arm or leg) to a height above the patient’s heart. Applying pressure to the major artery, which supplies blood to the wound, is another way to stop the bleeding.
Many people (especially elderly) are aware of the herbs’ power to heal skin wounds. No wonder that the very first step they take to treat a wound is using the tincture of this or that plant.
Some herbs are mighty antiseptics. Calendula is the best known for this property and the most popular herb used for skin wounds treating. Used externally, it prevents infection, stops inflammation, and hastens the curing of the slow-healing wounds. Skin injuries are eliminated faster with the help of Calendula, since this plant stimulates the production of collagen, which is necessary for covering the wounded area.
The plant is often used in cosmetic skin creams to eliminate wrinkles. It is also an essential part of the products for caring about sensitive baby’s skin and diaper rash prevention.
St. John’s Wort has antibacterial action as well. It is usually applied externally to relieve pain and accelerate wounds healing. However, the teas made of this plant can also be taken internally.
Aloe Vera is a valuable herb in treating skin wounds, since it is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent. It prevents bacteria from multiplying in the place of the injury. It also promotes skin wounds healing by increasing oxygen supply to the skin cells.
In addition, Aloe Vera is a mild anaesthetic, which relieves pain, reduces swelling and redness, and lessens inflammation.
Chamomile is an herb capable to promote tissue regeneration, which is of primary importance in wounds healing. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action. Camomile also reduces the leaking of fluid from cuts and scrapes, thus hastening their healing.
It is very easy and safe to use herbal ointments for skin wounds treatment. With the help of these remedies skin - our natural protection from viruses, bacteria, and other environmental influences – will be safe and sound to function properly again.
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