Physiology of wounds – a little understanding

The three phases of wound healing are: 

  • Inflammatory 
  • Proliferation 
  • Maturation 

It is important to remember that wound healing does not always occur in a linear fashion and so there can be overlap between the different phases of wound healing in any given wound. 

The inflammatory phase starts at the point of injury and in experimental wounds the inflammatory phase is complete in approximately 5 days. The inflammatory phase is characterized by both vascular and cellular responses. 

In uncomplicated wounds the proliferative phase may start as early as 3-5 days following injury. During this phase of wound healing granulation tissue will form in the wound bed, epithelialization will begin, and contraction of the wound bed will occur. 

The maturation phase is also known as the remodeling phase and occurs up to 1 year after injury. The scar formed following injury will be 15-20% weaker than surrounding tissue. Scarred skin will also be alopecic, and if non-pigmented will be prone to damage by sunlight. 

To find out more on this topic, take a look at the online CPD module Wound Healing Evolved - Modern Techniques for Successful Outcomes availble on Vetacademy.

For further information on wounds check out this related content available on Vetlexicon Canis: