Cuts and scrapes are a natural part of life and, luckily, our bodies are designed to heal these wounds on their own. However, utilizing extra home methods can help to expedite the process, decrease discomfort, and reduce the risk of both infection and unappealing scarring. It's certainly helpful to understand the stages of the natural healing process, so that you know just when to utilize ointments such as Vaseline on cuts and abrasions.
Using Vaseline on Cuts
Stages of Healing
After a wound that punctures the skin, blood will begin to clot, forming a scab over the internal areas now exposed to the elements. This is the body forming a protective covering of white blood cells in order to prevent infection and repair any of the damaged tissues nearby. Red blood cells, which work to create collagen, also work to kickstart the growth of new tissues in the area. As the edges pull inward, the wound reduces in size, and a scar begins to form.
Using Home Methods
In order to boost the body's natural healing process, you must first properly cleanse the wound. Irrigate first, gently washing the cut with soap before patting dry. Moisture is the most important thing needed to help speed up the healing process. Applying petroleum jelly, sometimes referred to its brand name “Vaseline“, on cuts is one such way to ensure that the wound stays moisturizes without becoming soggy. After applying Vaseline on cuts or other wounds, cover with an adhesive bandage to reduce exposure. Gauze can also work in this instance. Continue to cleanse the wound and reapply fresh Vaseline on cuts daily, changing the dressings or bandage, as well.
The Importance of Moisture
Scientific researchers and doctors alike agree that keeping the wound moist is crucial for creating a healing environment. In fact, wounds have been shown to heal a full 50 percent faster than kept in a moist environment. When a wounded area is moist,a process called ‘epithelialization'- or the regrowth of new skin- can occur. If the skin is dehydrated, cell death will occur. This mostly happens as a result of air exposure, and will lead to more pain, infection, and scarring. In addition to keeping the wound moist and clean, putting Vaseline on cuts provides an occlusive layer, which acts as a natural barrier and prevents the open wound from infection, reddening, and inflammation due to exposure.
Oftentimes, these types of wounds will begin to itch, especially as the scab begins to form. The skin around the wound may turn a bit pink in color and raise slightly. Scratching off a scab will only delay the healing process, as well as causing a permanent scar. When using petroleum jelly on cuts and wounds, they will scab less and the new skin will be less discolored and less raised, as the product has soothing effects.
Vaseline is a versatile product that can greatly aid in the treatment of cuts and wounds. However, for serious wounds, seek out proper medical advice and attention.