Wound healing

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Definition

noun

A process through which the structural and the physiological integrity of a traumatized (wounded) tissue are restored


Supplement

Wound healing is a natural process wherein a wound is subjected to overlapping phases intended to heal or repair the traumatized tissue. It is by convention involves the restoration of the structural architecture and function of the skin. One of the primary functions of the skin is to protect the underlying tissues from potentially harmful external agents (e.g. microbial pathogens, toxins, sunlight exposure, etc.). When this protective barrier is disrupted, e.g. by a mechanical or chemical trauma, the underlying tissues are at risk to adverse effects such as infection. Thus, the body works by attempting to restore the structural integrity and the protective function of a traumatized skin.

Wound healing typically involves the following phases: (1) inflammation phase, (2) migratory phase, (3) proliferative phase, and (4) maturation and remodeling phase. In summary, the initial step is one that leads to the inflammation at the site of injury. This promotes the migration of phagocytes to enable phagocytosis that would remove damaged cells, debris, and microbes. This is then followed by proliferative phase comprised of angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation, and epithelialization. The last phase is maturation of the collagen and remodeling of tissues forming the scar.


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