As I mentioned in my Immune System blog the skin is the first line of defence against invasion from bacteria. If the skin is broken it will repair itself! I talked about the different types of wound in my Sick Nursing blog but whatever the injury the healing process will be the same.
There are 3 phases to healing:
The first 2 phases can occur in one of 2 ways. The preferred method is called 'first intention' - this is when the edges of the wound are held together and will then quickly stick to each other. The longer process of healing by 'second intention' is when the wound edges cannot be held together because the wound is too large and too much tissue has been lost. In this situation the wound has to fill with new tissue before the skin can grow over the top.
The second stage - which usually follows after about 30 minutes - is when the damaged area begins to shrink. The polymorphs continue to work but new blood vessels and tissue cells will move in to replace the clot. These cells will form a new layer of skin under the scab (clot). In deeper wounds a similar process will be occurring further into the wound.
This stage varies according to the tissue damaged :- the epidermis or lining of the gut regenerates and repairs easily. Larger wounds will have more tissue which needs replacing and so will take considerably longer to repair.
Cells called fibroblasts move to the area and multiply. As these fibroblasts multiply and produce collagen (which connects skin to underlying organs and also gives muscles etcetera their strength). it results in strands of fibrin which tissue can be built upon - a bit like scaffolding on a building. Epithelial cells multiply and use this scaffolding to 'fill' the wound. Myofibroblasts cleverly attach to the edges of the wound and contract which causes the wound to shrink in size!
So within a few days the blood clot ,which originally formed just after the wound occurred, will become granulation tissue.
As the fibroblasts continue to produce connective tissue the number of blood vessels decrease and the white blood cells will disappear. Nerve fibres will begin to grow back into the area.
The final phase of healing is remodelling, when the collagen realigns and the wound becomes more pliable. This is when damaged tissue returns to its pre-injury state and when physiotherapy and other types of therapy can help.
Have you seen this week's video 'Follow me in September' on my You Tube channel?
Horse Life and Love. Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.
You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.
Until next time!