wound healing

On Wound Healing: Do Wounds Need Air to Heal?

Wounds are a part of life. Whether it’s a simple bruise or a huge cut, you will have to deal with a wound at some point, which is why it’s very important to know the foundations of wound healing.

One of the biggest questions that most people have is, “do wounds need air to heal?” Some people would advise that you need to “air out” a wound to help it heal while others say that a wound needs to be covered to prevent any infection. Let’s find out:

Does a wound need air to heal?

The belief that “airing out” a wound to help it heal probably comes from the idea that air can help a wound dry and eventually form a scab. But whether you air out a wound or not, it will still form a scab and later on, a scar because it’s all part of wound healing.

So contrary to popular belief, exposing a wound to air doesn’t necessarily help it heal faster. In fact, a wound needs moisture to aid in its wound healing process.

There is a concept called moist wound healing that aims to protect the wound’s natural moisture to help it heal.

What is moist wound healing?

Moist wound healing is essentially a treatment method that aims to promote a moist wound bed to aid with the healing of a wound. It is composed of two main components:

  • Avoid using disinfectants.

The use of disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide can kill cells and destroy the natural moisture of the wound. This is why these substances should never be applied over a wound to allow natural cells to live.

  • Keep the wound moist.

In 1962, Dr. George D. Winter wrote a paper entitled “Formation of the Scab and the Rate of Epithelialization of Superficial Wounds in the Skin of the Young Domestic Pig.” His research contradicted the longstanding belief that wound has to be aired out to form scabs so it helps faster. This prompted the beginning of the practice of moist wound healing in medicine. Moisture also helps cellular growth to speed up the formation of new tissues.

What is a wound exudate?

An exudate is the wound’s natural moisture that also serves as the vehicle for enzymes, hormones, and growth factors that all aid in wound healing. It also serves as the medium for the cells of the immune system to fight bacteria and other pathogens to help prevent infections.

The takeaway

So the answer is, wounds need moisture to heal, which is why it’s very important to seek the help of experts if you have a wound to make sure that you’re taking the right steps towards wound healing.

With a chronic wound being a huge problem in the country today, you can’t take any chances with beliefs that are not backed by research and scientific proof.

So if you suffer from any form of wound, make sure to seek consultation with a wound expert right away.

We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all wound care issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County, and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.