Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The relationship between food and skin injuries is complex. But the more researchers learn about healing wounds and ‘feeding’ recovery, the more clear one truth becomes: Specific nutrients have the power to promote wound healing, expedite the repair of acute and chronic wounds, and empower your body to accelerate its own natural regeneration mechanisms.

These inputs form the foundation of nutrition in wound healing

Our dietary choices have a profound impact on our body’s capacity to recover from everyday injuries, surgical wounds, and even infectious complications. Common micro- and macronutrients like proteins, fats, amino acids, and carbohydrates, plus inputs like vitamin C, zinc, and iron are especially vital to tissue regeneration, wound closure, and overall wound healing. Extra hydration is also important for wound recovery, giving the cells the transport system they need to move nutrients to the wound area, while removing infection and dead cell matter from the injury.

A wide variety of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals play a role in accelerating wound healing processes. But these inputs in particular give our body and immune system a noticeable boost:

Protein

You may have heard protein referred to as ‘the building block of life’ because this key nutrient is one of the main drivers of tissue growth, superficial wound healing, and skin immunity.

Protein also serves as one of the essential energy reserves our body pulls from when building new cells. That’s what makes protein energy malnutrition one of the most significant causes of delayed wound healing, especially for those with a lean body mass.

Vitamins and minerals

While protein provides the building blocks for healing wound patients, vitamins and minerals direct the speed and efficiency of the recovery process.

Some of the most important vitamins and minerals for nutrition and wound healing are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Copper

Each of the nutrients above play a pivotal role in the wound healing process, controlling everything from the speed of our inflammatory response to the synthesis of new tissue. For example, vitamin C is known for its role in facilitating tissue regeneration and collagen synthesis. Zinc promotes wound closure, which is why zinc deficiency can contribute to chronic wounds and wound complications. Iron helps the blood transport oxygen to inflamed body tissue, and an iron deficiency can drain the body’s energy and slow overall healing.

Together, these inputs are needed in small quantities to boost our body’s natural healing processes and fend off infection.

Carbohydrates

Wound healing is a taxing and continuous process that requires a high level of constant energy. Carbohydrates serve as another key fuel source throughout the healing process, especially for slow-healing wounds like chronic skin ulcers and serious injuries. In those with skin injuries, a flood of carbohydrates triggers a healthy release of hormones and growth factors, improving collagen synthesis and accelerating healing.

Fats

In tandem with carbohydrates, fats serve as a much-needed energy source for acute and chronic wound healing. Because collagen synthesis is crucial to wound closure and tissue regrowth, fatty acids are often one of the first inputs added to a nutrition-based wound care plan.

Water

In addition to nutrition in wound healing, adequate hydration is also essential for keeping the wound protected. Dehydration can be a major roadblock in the recovery process—and may even lead to wound healing disorders.

Extra water in the patient’s system promotes a healthy blood volume, facilitates oxygen and nutrient delivery to the wound site, and maintains skin integrity—all of which are essential for optimal healing.

Support acute and chronic wound healing with these essential nutrients

There’s a strong connection between the type of chronic or acute wounds a patient is experiencing, and the best nutritional plan to support that specific wound healing process.

Some wounds, including burns, require more energy inputs like essential fatty acids and protein. Other high-risk wounds like chronic venous ulcers benefit from extra vitamin C supplementation to reduce the chances of infectious complications.

Among nursing home patients and those with limited mobility, where malnutrition is more prominent than in the average population, the risk of developing non-healing ulcers is high—unless a balanced diet is readily available. Similarly, in a study following the rate of post-operative operations, the need for additional surgeries among malnourished individuals decreased when adequate nutritional supplements were added to their wound care plans.

Even within the three phases of the wound healing process—the inflammatory response, proliferation, and maturation—different nutrients impact healing in different ways. Early in the inflammatory stage, the body needs water, protein, and micronutrients to accelerate the transfer of healing properties to and from the wound.

As wound healing progresses, the body needs vitamin C for immune system strengthening and carbohydrates for an energy boost to promote collagen synthesis and wound closure.

In the final stages of wound maturation, additional protein and nutrients strengthen the newly formed collagen and replace any remaining scabs with healthy tissue.

A total lack of nutrition, or the wrong nutrients at each stage can lead to impaired wound healing—or a limited infection response. But a strategic plan that evolves through each stage can turn traumatic and chronic wounds into healthy tissue by boosting collagen synthesis and accelerating every natural mechanism of healing.

In addition to nutrition, Dakin’s Solution can play a vital role in wound management

While nutrition is a powerful tool for wound healing, inputs are only part of the recovery equation. Wound cleansing, like with Dakin’s proven solutions for wound irrigation and management, benefits each phase of wound healing by rinsing away debris and eradicating infection-causing microorganisms.

Dakin’s Solution, available in four flexible strengths, creates a favorable environment for wound recovery by moistening the tissue, mechanically removing foreign objects, dead tissue, and dirt, and killing MRSA, VRE, and other viruses that impair wound healing.

By adding Dakin’s to your holistic care plan, you can promote the healing of acute and chronic wounds with a simple, safe, and effectively antibiotic-free solution—available online or at your local pharmacy.

To order Dakin’s for your patients or yourself:

Have questions about our line of wound care products? Contact our team.