The human body, though amazing, versatile, flexible, and powerful, is also prone to injuries of all types such as pressure injuries, contusions, diabetic ulcers, burns, abrasions, and multiple chronic wounds caused by diseases and conditions. And at some point in life, most everyone will experience some form of bodily injury. But injuries heal. Bodies heal. And wound care can be the most important factor in the healing process. Whether your wounds are caused by a chronic disease, condition, or a simple accident or injury, the most important thing is to do whatever you can to help the healing process along.

In this blog post we’re going to cover four basic steps of effective wound care. Complex wounds cost the North American health care industry at least an estimated $10 billion annually. Proper care is the best way to reduce infection and to speed up the recovery process so that your body can heal. Though these steps will work for multiple types of wounds, we’re going to focus on wound care for accidental injuries such as contusions, bruises, abrasions, or burns.

Seek Professional Diagnostic Services

The first thing you should do after any new injury, pain, or symptoms of disease, is to seek professional medical help. Of course, this does depend on the injury. While injuries like cuts, scrapes or mild burns are something you can probably handle with your personal first aid kit, serious injuries like contusions, broken bones or sprained ligaments, and wounds that could indicate a deeper disease or condition should be looked at by a medical professional.

Whether you choose a public emergency room or similar diagnostic services, the professionals there will be able to safely treat the injury and provide advice on further, long-term treatment. Even if you do get medical help, the rest of this blog can help you with your at-home wound care for the rest of the healing process.

Initial Wound Care

If you don’t choose to seek professional medical attention, the first step is to clean your injury. Make sure your hands, and any tools you may use, are clean before you touch your wound. Then be sure to get all of the dirt and germs out of the open skin, and cover it with sterile bandages. Note that if you are unable to close the wound properly or to stop the bleeding, then you should definitely seek medical help.

Keeping it Clean

Even after your wound has been treated, it is still vitally important to keep the site clean and dry and to check regularly for infections. Change your dressing often with clean, sterile bandages, and use an antibacterial ointment or spray to keep infection at bay.

Staying Healthy and Giving Your Body Time to Heal

While your body is working hard to heal, eating healthy and getting plenty of rest can give it the energy it needs. There are even certain foods that are said to promote healing, such as those high in protein, zinc, or other vitamins. You could also use soothing treatments (such as Aloe Vera gel for burns, or alternating ice and heat for bruises or sprains).

If your wound continues to hurt, or especially if it gets worse over time, reconsider seeking medical help for advanced wound care. The bottom line is to stay safe, healthy, clean, and to give your body the time and energy it needs to heal.