Three Stages of Wound Healing

If you’ve ever sustained a paper cut or a more serious skin laceration, you’ve likely noticed that your injury heals over the course of several days or weeks. But have you ever considered the physiological processes that are involved in wound healing?

There are three stages in the wound healing process:

  1. Inflammatory phase – This phase begins at the time of injury and lasts up to four days. It includes clotting of platelets and constriction of blood vessels to stop blood loss, in addition to the arrival of white blood cells to kill bacteria and naturally clean the wound site.
  2. Proliferative phase – This phase begins about three days after injury and overlaps with the inflammatory phase. It involves cells called fibroblasts that help to produce new collagen, create new blood vessels, and repair the avascular epithelial tissue.
  3. Remodeling phase – This phase can continue for six months to one year after injury. Collagen continues to increase and the tissue begins to contract with the help of fibroblasts, both of which add strength to the new tissue. Excessive collagen can cause scar tissue formation.

The healing process will vary among individuals and will depend largely on the cause and severity of the wound. Patients with diabetes, vascular disorders, or other chronic conditions may experience slow-healing or non-healing wounds that require specialized medical care in the form of compression therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or growth factor therapy.

Wound Care Services in the Tampa Bay Area

At BayCare, we are committed to educating both our patients and members of the Tampa Bay area community about health risks and treatment options for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including wounds or pressure ulcers caused by diabetes, skin grafts, immobility, and lymphedema. Please feel free to browse our online wound management resources such as When to Seek Professional Wound Care Treatment, Seven Tips for Preventing Foot Ulcers, and Nutrition Guidelines for Wound Care.

To learn more about your options for treatment at BayCare’s various wound care centers in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Plant City, and Palm Harbor, call (855) 546-6296 or find a doctor near you.