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Wound Healing Time

Wound healing time means the amount of time it takes for your skin and underlying tissues to meet and fuse after a discontinuation of their surface by trauma. This can be as trivial as a paper cut, to as severe as a road traffic accident. The healing process in each attempts to connect like with like - skin to skin, muscle to muscle, bone to bone - and close exposure to the open air and germs.

Average Wound Healing Times

Type of Wound Time to Heal
Paper Cut 1 week
Pin prick 1 week
Nail puncture 1-2 weeks
Eye abrasion 1-2 weeks
Amputation 4-6 weeks
Razor Cut 1-2 weeks
Kitchen Knife Cut 2-3 weeks
Surgical Incision 2-4 weeks
   
wound healing thumb wound healing fingers bullet wound healing wound healing with stitches

Wound Healing Time depends on:

  • Age. Younger persons tend to heal faster.
  • Genetics. Some people simply heal faster than others with similar wounds.
  • Size of the wound. Big wounds require more resources and complexity of repair than small ones.
  • Location of the wound. Wounds on the lip e.g. heal faster than say, on a knee because it is more vascular and has a higher cellular replacement rate.
  • How deep the wound is. The deeper a wound is, the more layers are penetrated increasing the complexity of repair.
  • How close the edges of skin are. If they are touching healing is very fast as there is less distance for the skin to traverse to its neighbor and this is why we tend to stitch gaping wounds together.
  • Complications in the wound such as germs or grit will delay healing time.
  • Nutrition deficiencies such as protein, vit C, or disorders such as diabetes slow wound healing rates.
  • Medications may slow, accelerate, or otherwise interfere in wound healing.
  • Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol will delay wound healing time.

Even after a wound fuses healing continues hidden from view. The wound continues to strengthen and consolidate itself. Scarring may become apparent some time later.

Wound Healing Time by Second Intention

We say that a wound is left to heal by second intention when it is gaping and left to fill in itself. This takes much longer than a wound where the edges are touching as the distance the skin and underlying tissues must traverse is far greater. This option is typically taken if a wound is infected, or too large to pull together with stitches.

wound healing time animation

Wound Healing Time by Third Intention

Third intention wound healing is effected by skin grafts. The aim is that by doing so for extensive wounds, we can speed their healing by weeks.

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    Last Updated:
    December 15 2013
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