Monday, January 25, 2010

The Healing Process
Recently I have been able to watch many wounds heal on my body.
It has been a fascinating experience.
• First comes vasoconstriction — blood vessels leading to the wound tighten to reduce the flow of blood to the injured area.
Platelets (triggered by enzymes leaked from the torn blood vessel) rush to the scene. These sticky blood cells clump to each other and then adhere to the sides of the torn blood vessel, making a plug.
Clotting proteins in the blood join forces to form a fibrin net that holds the platelet plug in place over the tear, and in just a few seconds or minutes (depending on how bad the scrape is), BLEEDING STOPS, thanks to coagulation! The fibrin plug becomes a scab that will eventually fall off or be reabsorbed into the body once healing is complete.
• The blood vessels that were constricted now dilate to bring white blood cells rushing to the scene. White blood cells engulf and destroy any germs that may have gotten into the body through the open wound.
Fibroblasts (cells that are capable of forming skin and other tissue) gather at the site of injury and begin to produce collagen, which will eventually fill in the wound under the scab and create new capillaries to bring oxygen-rich blood to the recovering wound.
Skin along the edges of the wound becomes thicker and then gradually migrates (or stretches) under the scab to the center of the wound, where it meets skin from the other side and forms a scar (about three weeks after the initial injury).
Scar tissue will become stronger and fade gradually over the next several years as more collagen is added, but will only have about 80 percent of the strength of the original skin.
(Go Ask Alice)

Left ankle cut.

Right ankle at the end of December.

Right ankle at the end of January.

Aren't we wonderfully designed and made!

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