It happens to all of us. You slice your finger while cutting an onion, scrape your knee on the tripping over a curb, or pop a blister on your toe from wearing those uncomfortable shoes. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ and plays such a prominent role in keeping you healthy occasional reminders about proper wound care can make a huge difference. When your skin is cut, your red blood cells, white, blood cells, and platelets all perk up as part of the inflammatory process. While unsightly, this inflammation actually gives your skin protection from further injury while it’s repairing its own tissues.
Despite Nature’s competency, there are a plethora of prescription and over-the-counter wound care treatments on the market that are full of unnecessary chemicals. Rubbing wounds with alcohol, iodine, antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide, and other artificial medications can actually cause more harm than good. Although cuts and scrapes need to be cleaned before they’re treated, chemicals kill not only the germs, but also the beneficial bacteria that cells needs to grow new skin.
After stopping the bleeding and cleaning the wound, try using a all-natural antiseptic like echinacea angustifolia, calendula, tea tree oil, and lavender. As a general rule, cuts and scrapes that are kept moist heal better than those that are left dry. Instead of restrictive bandages that don’t allow air flow, choose simple gauze bandages that retain moisture balance and promote the flow of healing oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapor.
Many natural herbs are used to combat infection, soothe pain, and accelerate healing associated with minor and moderate cuts and scrapes. For example, one popular herbal remedy source suggests using creams, lotions, and oils infused with chickweed to soothe rashes, coptis to stop infection, clove to reduce pain, and geranium oil to stop bleeding. Witch hazel is a great remedy for lots of skin conditions including abrasions, burns, and sunburns. Honey is another great natural remedy that can help fight viruses, prevent infection, and promote new cell growth. If you don’t feel like hunting down all of these ingredients in the health food store, you can also find all-natural spray remedies that eliminate the guesswork and the mess.
If you haven’t been watching your diet, your wound may take longer to heal than you’d expect. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin A to form scar tissue, vitamin B-5 and zinc to accelerate the healing process, and vitamin C to form collagen and elastin. Protein also helps to manufacture immune cells and antibodies, which naturally reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of infection. Although some wounds are obviously severe enough to require professional attention, we can heal many of our everyday cuts and scrapes with Mother Nature’s help.