Open wounds are a nightmare. Not only are they painful, but they take the time to heal. After a while, they become itchy. The scabs are tempting to pick at, but you just know that if you do, then you’re left with a permanent reminder of the wound.
You want to treat your open wounds to prevent them from getting infected. You want to help speed up the healing process and reduce the chances of your skin scarring in the future. Just what are your options? Do you even have options?
The good news is that researchers have found some ways to treat your open wounds. There’s no need to speak to your doctor or pay for expensive over the counter medication. You don’t have to give any money to big pharma if you don’t want.
Here’s a look at eight proven home remedies that will treat your open wounds and reduce the chance of your skin scarring. Note that the effectiveness of these treatments will depend on the deepness and reasons for the wounds and the health of your skin.
Use Petroleum Jelly on Your Scars
One of the best things you can do is to keep your wound moist. This sounds like the wound won’t heal, but it does the exact opposite. You just need to use the right type of products on the wounds to aid healing. Using petroleum jelly is one of the most effective ways to keep the wound moist but help with the healing process at the same time.
Petroleum jelly will create a barrier over your wound. Bacteria and water are prevented from getting in. Meanwhile, your natural oils won’t escape from the wound. They work their way around the open part of your skin, promoting natural healing as your immune system as a protected area to get to work.
When you keep the skin moist, you also help with the collagen production. This keeps the skin elasticised and flexible. The skin doesn’t repair with a scar. At least, the scarring isn’t as deep, so you’ll be able to minimize the light scarring that does form quickly.
You will need to think about the type of wound you have before using petroleum jelly. It can cause problems if your wound is already infectious. The bacteria have nowhere to escape because of the protective barrier. Instead, you create a breeding ground for more bacteria, and you make the wound worse.
If your doctor has recommended you keep the wound dry, ask about the use of petroleum jelly. Many doctors will recommend this to create that barrier to keep water away from the wound.
Massage the Area with Vitamin E
It’s time to break out the aloe vera or vitamin E cream. Both products include properties that help to improve the healing process. They get into the cells and promote healthy growth. They are antioxidants that help to fight off free radicals that affect the health of the cells, leading to cancer, aging, and scarring.
When you massage the creams in, you get the benefit of improved blood circulation too. Good blood flow will help to improve the production of collagen in the body. Your lower layers are protected and more flexible, meaning that the skin heals at a deeper level.
Depending on the wound, there is still a risk of scarring. The good news is the scarring is minimal. It will be something that you can get rid of later.
Make sure that the gels and creams you use are as natural as possible. One of the best things you can do is get an aloe vera plant and take the gel out of the middle of the leaves. Use it directly on your skin and then wipe away with a damp cloth.
If your skin is irritable, you may want to avoid massaging the skin or using anything on it. Talk to your doctor if the skin is extremely red and swollen, as this is a sign of an infection. A little itchiness is normal in the healing process.
Keep the Wound Away from Sunlight
Make sure you keep the UV rays away from your wound. There is a common misconception that the sun will help to minimize the looks of scarring. This is false. The UV rays make scars deeper while making the rest of your skin darker. The look of the scars will remain the same the whole time. Even using something like lemon juice won’t help to reduce the scarring from the wounds—and you don’t want to add lemon juice to an open wound!
Sunlight also slows down the healing process. Free radicals spread around the body quickly. Your cells die quicker, and your body succumbs to aging. You will need to work on repairing the damage that the sun has done before healing the open wound.
Of course, when the wound has healed, it’s taken longer. The sunlight has affected the body’s ability to create collagen, and the skin isn’t as flexible as it once was. You end up struggling with deeper scarring that you would have if you just avoided the sun altogether.
If you are going out in the sun, make sure you cover the wound. Clothing or a cotton bandage is best, but you can also use sunscreen on it. Make sure the sunscreen is at least SPF 30. If your wound is open, you will want to consider the bandage option. The sunscreen will get into the wound and cause bacteria to grow, leading to infection.
Remove Dirt or Debris with Sterilised Tweezers
You want to clean the wound out thoroughly. You’ll hear a lot of people telling you to use hydrogen peroxide or another deep cleanser. The idea is to avoid bacteria from getting into the wound and causing infection.
The truth is you want to avoid harsh cleansers like this. Don’t use rubbing alcohol or anything irritating and drying to the skin. All you do is dry out the wound and make it harder to heal.
When you have debris or dirt in the wound, get a pair of sterilized tweezers. Remove the debris gently one little bit at a time. Once they’ve gone, just use water to finish cleaning the wound and then apply your petroleum jelly to keep it protected.
If you can’t get everything out, you will want to speak to your doctor. Your doctor will have specialist equipment to get into the wound and clean it out thoroughly.
Avoid putting anything on it afterward, unless it is infected and your doctor has recommended it. Using cleansers will just make it harder for your skin to heal. The longer it takes, the more likely you are to scar.
Consider Hydrogel or Silicone Gel Sheets
If you want to keep the moisture in the wound, you could consider hydrogel or silicone gel sheet bandages. They are applied directly to the wound and left on for a few hours. They can help to create a barrier, protecting your skin, while offering the ability to hydrate your skin throughout the day. As the tissues are hydrated, the collagen production is boosted. You end up with less risk of scarring afterward.
The moisture will be natural. The dressings work by creating pressure to encourage the natural oils to spread around the wound and improve the healing process.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the packet. Only leave the bandages on for the length of time recommended. You do run the risk of infection if you leave them on for too long. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the wound to make sure it is healing. If you suspect there is an infection, remove the dressings and speak to your doctor.
You won’t need to use petroleum jelly if you opt for these gel dressings. Don’t be afraid to try out a different brand or type of gel dressing if the one you’re currently using doesn’t work. You shouldn’t see scabs forming around the wound.
Keep Moist After Healing
The scar prevention doesn’t stop when the wound is healed. There is still a risk of a small scar forming, so you want to keep the area moist for as long as possible. This prevents scar tissue deeper in the layers forming. You can continue to promote the collagen production.
If you don’t want the bandages anymore, go back to try the petroleum jelly. You’ll also want to consider using moisturizing creams and coconut oil to aid with the collagen production. One of the biggest benefits of coconut oil is that it has antibacterial properties to help reduce the risk of infection within your skin.
Massage the oil or jelly that you use. This helps to boost the blood flow and continue reducing the risk of scarring within the skin.
Keep Movement to a Minimum
If you continue to move the skin, you will keep opening the wound. You want it to heal, which means minimizing the amount of movement that you make. Remember, the longer it takes to heal, the more risk there is of scarring. Of course, taking longer to heal will also mean more risk of infection and further problems.
Minimizing movement can be difficult, depending on where the wound is. You can even forget about it at times, especially if it’s on your fingers or in your nail beds. You only remember about them when you do something and catch the wounds.
Try a bandage or some pressure application. Even when the upper layers have healed, you want to prevent movement to allow the lower layers to heal better. You’ll find that you get rid of scar tissue build up.
While healing, you don’t want to stop all movement completely. Not only is this not practical, but it’s also detrimental to the overall healing. You want to make gentle movements to help minimize the risk of reopening the wound.
Get More Ginger in Your Diet
It’s time to think about the food you eat. Wound healing isn’t all about topical treatments.
Ginger is one of the best healing foods you can consume. It’s full of curcumin, a spice that is a derivative of afinger. You can also find it in other spices and herbs, including turmeric and paprika. However, ginger is the easiest to use and the most natural form.
Drink some ginger tea on a nightly basis to get this natural healing element into your system. It will boost your immune system and improve your cell regeneration. At the same time, the heat of the tea will help to soothe the mind and reduce the stress. You can also reduce feelings of nausea and digestive complaints, further helping the healing process.
As the wound starts to heal, you can create a turmeric or ginger paste. Apply this directly to where the damage was and allow the curcumin to get deeper into the layers.
You should also add vitamin C and vitamin A to your diet. These vitamins help to boost the immune system and collagen production. Not only do you aid healing, but you also reduce the risk of scarring forming. If there is scarring, you can get rid of them efficiently.
It’s Time to Improve Your Skin Health
Don’t just put up with an open wound. Avoid leaving it to “air out.” This old method of healing doesn’t work. You don’t want the scabs to form. They’re irritating and tempting to pick. They also prevent the moisture getting to the wound and make it easier for scars to form.
Keep your wound moist and don’t be afraid of massaging around the area. Hydrating gels and bandages are good for your skin and will help to boost collagen production.
However, check on the wound regularly. You need to look out for any sign of infection and see a doctor if there is a more serious problem.