Stages of Wound Healing

There are four key stages of wound healing generally speaking. While there are several different causes of wounds, most wounds usually follow the same healing process. This process is a progression of steps the body takes to reestablish the damaged tissues. When the wound occurs, a series of responses from the body to the injury happen in order to heal the wounded area. These responses are called the "stages of wound healing," and include inflammation, epithelialization, angiogenesis and the growth of new cells.

Inflammation
Inflammation is the body's response to harmful stimuli such as damaged cells caused by the wound. The body uses inflammation to protect the injury and initiate the healing process in the tissue.

Epitheliazation
Epitheliazation is the next step in the healing process. This occurs when the body creates new epithelium (or new skin) onto the area where it is no longer existent. You may notice a "scab" growing over the wound during this process. 

Angiogenesis
Angiogenesis is the process in which the growth of new blood vessels occurs from pre-existing blood vessels.

New Cell Growth
The last phase in the wound healing process is the growth of new cells. Once this process occurs, the wound should be completely healed, although there may be a scar in the place that the wound once was.

Since there are so many different types of wounds and many different degrees of wound severity, the rate in which a wound heals varies. Appropriate wound care is extremely important for the body to heal itself naturally. Make sure you are properly caring for your wound until the wound has completely healed. Keep the wound clean and covered to prevent re-injury. If you have a wound that is not healing properly, a doctor can give you advice on what steps need to be taken in order to speed the healing process of the wound.

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