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Do cuts heal faster when covered?

Updated on January 12, 2016

Should you cover a cut with a bandage or keep it exposed to allow a scab to form? It's tough to know if a wound should be covered up, left to the open air, kept moist or left to scab over. Some experts recommend leaving a wound uncovered to help it stay dry and help it heal. But research shows that covered cuts heal faster than uncovered cuts. So, what's the answer?

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Does a covered wound heal faster?

Once the bleeding has been stopped and the cut has been carefully cleaned, it's recommended to use a clean bandage to help a cut heal faster. Why? A bandage acts as a protection and forces the cut back together. The cells need the right amount of moisture in order to heal. This is why it's important to keep the cut covered with a bandage and add an ointment to ensure it stays moist. Indeed studies have shown that wounds covered with a bandage have lower rates of infection.

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Why should you change the bandage regularly?

It's important to keep the area around the cut clean and to remove excess oil or dirt from the skin that may prevent the bandage from sticking. The bandage should be changed daily or as advised by your doctor. But don't do it in one quick pull because it could cause the wound to reopen and slow down the healing process! Pull the bandage off slowly and in the direction of natural hair growth. If the bandage is difficult to remove, dab the edges with baby oil to allow the bandage to be removed with ease.

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Should a cut be left exposed to the air?

Some experts say that after the wound has healed enough to make infection unlikely, exposure to the air may help to speed wound healing. But studies also show that a covered wound heals faster than an uncovered wound. It creates a protective layer to keep the air out, prevents extensive scabbing, and speeds up the growth of new skin cells. Always consult your doctor if you have any doubt about your cut, and to ensure you're doing the right things.

Will a cut heal faster if you keep it uncovered at night?

Will a cut heal faster if you keep it covered at night? Believe it or not, the answer is true! According to the Doctor in this video, research shows that it takes a wound somewhere between 20 to 30 percent longer to heal if you leave it uncovered.

CAUTIOUS

Most minor cuts do not require emergency medical treatment. Minor cuts that involve the superficial stratum of the skin are usually easy to treat; but medical wound care is needed if the wound is too deep, infected, swollen or located on sensitive skin.

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© 2016 Josephine Beck

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