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How Does Cut Skin Heal?

By Sharin Griffin ; Updated July 18, 2017

The Beginning Process

Skin is a resilient part of bodies. A skin cut will start healing immediately by forming a clot from the blood to keep the cut from losing excessive amounts of blood. A blood clot is formed when blood platelets release proteins. These proteins form a "net" that traps the blood cells, causing them to congeal forming the clot. Histamine is then released from the mast cells, and inflammation is present to keep out harmful infection-causing bacteria. During this time, the blood vessels have already constricted to reduce blood flow and aid in ease of clotting.

A Few Hours Later

Within a few hours after initial injury, skin cells start to divide and fill in the gap left by the cut. Blood vessels regenerate and the clot dries. The clot will pull the side of the cut together, rejoining the skin. In this way, the skin will heal faster with minimal scarring present. In deeper cuts, stitches can aid in this process, holding the skin together when the clotting process cannot occur because of the injury's depth and length.

Several Days Later

After about a week, the healing of the lower layers of the skin are complete and inflammation remains as infection still is a threat. The upper layers of skin, known as the dermis, still are not completely healed and will take a little extra time. At this time, there is a dry scab covering the cut, serving to keep out germs and acting as a natural Band-Aid.

A Few Weeks Later

After one to two weeks, the scab falls off the cut, revealing new fresh skin. This skin will still appear red and in the form of an indentation in the skin. This will fill out soon, and the skin will again be full as collagen cells regenerate and plump the skin. The cut is now at a low risk of infection and inflammation has decreased or not present by this time.

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