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Wound Healing fact sheet

Information Sheet

We all suffer from skin wounds from time to time, but whether it be a small graze or a more serious cut our bodies are generally well equipped to help us deal with the trauma.
There are three stages to the body's wound healing process and these are as follows:

Inflammatory Stage

This stage occurs during the first day or two. The wounded area attempts to restore its normal state (homeostasis) by constricting blood vessels to control bleeding. Platelets and thromboplastin make a clot. Inflammation (redness, heat, swelling) also occurs and is a visible indicator of the immune response. White blood cells clean the wound of debris and bacteria.

Proliferative Stage

After the inflammatory stage, the proliferative stage lasts about 3 weeks (or longer, depending on the severity of the wound). Granulation occurs, which means that special cells called fibroblasts make collagen to fill in the wound. New blood vessels form. The wound gradually contracts and is covered by a layer of skin.

Maturation and Remodeling Stage

This stage may last up to 2 years. New collagen forms, changing the shape of the wound and increasing strength of tissue in the area. Scar tissue, however, is only about 80% as strong as the original tissue. The body's ability to heal during this stage is diminished in the elderly.

Emu oil

Emu oil is a 100% natural remedy that has been used in Aboriginal medicine for centuries. The oil has now become famous around the Globe for its powerful soothing properties and its popularity as one of the most effective natural remedies available is growing quickly.

A published study carried out in 1998 (1) looked at the effects of applying emu oil to full thickness skin defects (cuts etc). The oil was placed on the defects 24hrs after they occurred and a nearly two fold promotion of wound contraction, epitheliazation, and infiltration of organized granulation tissue (wound healing) was observed. Mitogenic effects (cell multiplying) resulting from the application of emu oil are suggested as the reason for this and there are several studies that claim to back up this theory. A clinical study by Michael Holick (MD, PhD, Proffesor of Medicine, Physiology, and Dermatolgy at Boston University School of Medicine) found a 20 percent increase in DNA synthesis in skin and hair cells with the application of emu oil in rats.

It should be noted that it is thought emu oil may have anti-inflammatory effects and so shouldn't be placed on wounds immediately, but placed on the wound during the proliferative stage.

References

 (1) Politis MJ, Dmytrowich A Promotion of Second Intention Wound Healing by Emu Oil Lotion: Comparative Results with Furasin, Polysporin, and Cortisone. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998 Jun; 102(7):2404-2407

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