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Why Do Wounds Feel Itchy If They Want To Heal

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Why Do Wounds Feel Itchy If They Want To Heal

Does Itching Wound Indicate Sign of Healing? 

Everyone must have been hurt whether it is a small cut, laceration, or even a post-operative wound. In addition to causing pain, often the wound will cause itching. Research over the years has shown that wounds, both large and small, tend to itch when healing. Then, the myth that circulates, the condition of the itchy wound indicates that the wound will heal soon. Is it true that the itchy wound indicates that it wants to heal? Check out the following facts.

Why Do Scabs Itch?

You have sensitive nerves under your skin, which reacts whenever there is irritation on your skin. This can be something simple like an insect crawling on your skin or more complex like a healing wound. Usually, the itching sensation on the scar occurs as a result of physical stimulation, chemical stimulation, and also nerve regeneration or repair processes. 

1.     Physical Stimulation

New skin growth can also be itchy. During the proliferative stage, when cells flow to the base of the wound and pull the skin inward, these nerve cells are stimulated. As the collagen cells expand and new skin begins to grow in the wound, which forms the scab. The sebaceous glands can also be damaged by injury, and when the spot is dry and crusty, it stimulates an itching sensation. During the wound healing process, these nerves tell the spinal cord that the skin is stimulated. The brain perceives these signals as itching.

2.     Chemical Stimulation

The chemical stimulation that causes itching of the wound may be due to histamine. These nerves are also sensitive to chemicals, such as histamine, that the body releases in response to injury. Histamine promotes the regeneration of skin cells and is essential for the body's healing process. But it can cause a reaction, including itching, similar to an allergy. Histamine is common in keloid wounds and hypertrophic wounds and this occurs together with the formation of new collagen tissue.

3.     Nerve Regeneration

On the other hand, nerve regeneration occurs in all wound healing processes. During this nerve regeneration, there are nerve fibers that have a thin myelin sheath and C nerve fibers that don't have a sheath. The amount of the two is not balanced, which can increase the itching sensation. All of the above factors contribute to the itching sensation of the wound while it heals.

These itchy messages from your brain are the ones you should ignore. Scratching an injured area or scratching a spot can tear new skin cells that your body makes to heal the wound. Scratching the itch can re-injure the wound and delay the healing process.


Does Itching Wound Indicate Sign of Healing? 

There is a story of an old wife knowing that her wound is healing because of itching. This is a piece of folklore that is passed down from generation to generation and is supported by science. The skin is part of the human body's defense system against infection and invaders. The body is unable to distinguish between a clean clinical wound from a sterile scalpel and a dirty wound from a dog bite. All skin lesions are interpreted in the same way. During the healing process, the body penetrates a wound with inflammatory cytokines to clear the area of ​​any foreign body or infection. These pro-inflammatory cytokines cause itching. In many skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, the body rejects inappropriate pro-inflammatory cytokines from the skin, causing itching. Also, high levels of histamine have been found to heal skin and blemishes, which we know will create an itchy sensation. During an injury (especially a burn), nerves may have been damaged, creating inappropriate signals that the brain interprets as itching. The sebaceous glands can also be damaged by injury, and dry skin is itchy. That is why it is recommended to keep the skin clean, covered, and moist with petroleum jelly.


Stages of Wound Healing

Most wounds, small and large, go through a four-step healing process.

Step 1: The Bleeding Stage

Also called the hemostasis stage, this is where the injury occurs. Your body responds to injury by activating a blood clot, lymph fluid, and clotting (coagulation) to stop the blood loss.

Step 2: The Defensive / Inflammatory Stage

This is the beginning of the repair process. It starts immediately after the injury and generally lasts up to six days. Your body sends white blood cells to fight harmful bacteria at the wound site, the swelling starts at the wound site and the skin begins the repair process.

Step 3: The Proliferative Stage

The proliferative stage, which usually lasts between one and four weeks, is also known as the granulation stage or tissue regeneration stage. Here you can see the signs of skin repair: scabies that protects new skin cells that are growing.

Step 4: The Remodeling Stage

Also known as the maturation phase or remodeling phase, this phase can last from three weeks to four years. During this stage, scabies falls off as the new tissue gains strength and flexibility and the collagen fibers form scars.

If It Itches, Do Not Scratch It 

Itching can be caused by various things.  When you feel itchy, you will instantly scratch it. This will end up scratching the wound. Where the wound is scratched, it will make the dry skin layer open again and slow the healing process. Scratching an itchy wound that is trying to heal can damage new tissue that has developed to replace and repair damaged tissue. If this happens, it can slow down the healing process, making your body more prone to wound infections and can lead to excessive scarring. In addition, it can cause harmful bacteria from your hands to transfer to the wound, putting them at higher risk of developing an infection.


Do not scratch the wound. If you scratch, the itching will disappear and you will feel comfortable. But a few moments later, you will feel pain in the previously itchy spot due to scratching. Now, because of the pain, the body naturally releases serotonin. The goal is to reduce the pain you feel. However, not only regulates pain, but serotonin also provides a feeling of "satisfaction" when scratching. So, the more serotonin that pain produces, the more likely you will feel to scratch.

How To Take of Care For Itching Wounds 

As the wound heals, you will itch. Do not scratch it! There are a few steps you can take to reduce the itching, but what you really need is patience.

After the skin is cut, the first step in caring for the wound is to wash it with warm water and mild soap. In addition to cleansing, this can relieve some of the itching and irritation. Be gentle so as not to damage the skin growth.

Some other actions to consider to help with itching include:

·        Wash the wound gently with soap and water to remove dead skin cells that may be irritating.

·        Keep the injured area hydrated.

·        Protect the area with a sterile wound dressing that will protect it and help you avoid scratching and contact with the healing area.

·        Apply a cold compress, for no more than 20 minutes, to reduce inflammation and to numb the itch.

·        Wear loose clothing to reduce irritation to the injured area.

·        Wear breathable clothing to reduce the accumulation of sweat in the healing area.

·        Anti-itch creams can be used if the itching persists and becomes too difficult to manage. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of taking a pruritus-free medicine.

Some of the therapies that can be given to reduce itching are moisturizers, anti-inflammatory drugs such as topical corticosteroids that can be applied directly to the itchy area, interferon, topical retinoic acid, and silicone gel in sheet or cream form.

Contact Your Doctor 

Itching during the wound healing process is normal and common and subside on its own. Usually, the itching will go away in four weeks or less, but this depends on many factors, such as the size and depth of the wound.

·        If your wound has not healed well or the itching persists after about a month, ask your doctor to check the wound area to make sure you do not have an infection or other serious health condition.

·        If the itching does not go away on its own, you may have keloid sores or hypertrophic sores.

·        If the itching is accompanied by pain, redness, or discharge, contact your doctor, the wound may be infected.

For any other types of suggestions and questions on this topic, you can connect with us through the comment box below. 

 Only generic information is provided in this content and this is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor or a specialist for more information.  Please check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications. Some foods and supplements may interfere with certain medications. HEALTHY and FITNESS do not claim responsibility for this information.


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