When was the last time you treated a wound, or had one treated? Was it from an accident, or from a surgery? Was it major or minor? Did it require reconstruction? What did you put on it? Did you think about the relationship between the wound and your skin care routine?
The fact is that wound care and skin care have a significant relationship. A wound is a skin injury. It can range from a small scrape to a major gash that requires extensive surgeries to repair. Most of us are very diligent in taking care of our wounds because we want to make sure that we are infection and scar free. Wound care is an increasingly advanced science in which some of the same technologies are applied that are used in routine and anti-aging skin care products. These include the application of collagen and the use of antioxidants.
Collagen and Wounds
Collagen is a fibrous protein. It is what gives skin its strength and structure. It also has a role in wound healing by attracting cells that build new tissue and skin, and by providing the structure that tissue will grow around. (Source).
When collagen is used as a wound dressing it leaves the body’s natural collagen free to do its job, and boosts that collagen to speed up and make wound healing more efficient. In addition to encouraging the growth of tissue, the collagen from the dressing makes the wound more comfortable, providing some natural relief from discomfort. A collagen dressing is typically a bandage infused with proteins. It is generally flexible and comfortable and can be used to treat almost any wound other than a third-degree burn, or treat people who have an allergy to the source of the protein the collagen is derived from (typically cows, birds, or pigs). (Source). Collagen can also help to prevent infection by providing a barrier around the wound that keeps bacteria out.
The National Institutes of Health have published research indicating that on top of all of these other benefits, the direct application of collagen to a wound during the healing process promotes healing by changing the biochemistry of the wound directly. This is a pretty remarkable advancement in medicine that is making a huge difference for the body and skin all over the world.
Antioxidants and Wound Care
Much like the presence of collagen, antioxidants are noted to help wounds heal as well. This includes antioxidants that come from a variety of plant sources, establishing those plants as beneficial in the medical science world. (Source). Although quite scientific, the following excerpt from an article on this, published by the National Institutes of Health, explains how this works:
Many facets of wound healing … require a delicate balance between oxidative stress and antioxidants. While the normal physiology of wound healing depends on low levels of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress, an overexposure to oxidative stress leads to impaired wound healing. Antioxidants are postulated to help control wound oxidative stress and thereby accelerate wound healing.
Vitamins A, C, and E seem to have particular benefits, with C and E being used in topical applications. Other antioxidants come in the form of teas, especially green and white, which are known to have benefits when applied to the skin, and likely help progress wound healing as well.
Skin Care and Collagen and Antioxidants
Age, sun and smoking can all damage the skin, but the same collagen and antioxidants that help to heal wounds can also help to repair these types of harm. The mechanisms are essentially the same. By applying collagen and antioxidants topically to the skin, it triggers a process that leads to cell generation and the production of new and healthy skin structures.
Here is how this works:
Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and enzymes (proteins inside your body) that can help to prevent and repair damage to your body’s tissue. Antioxidants do this by slowing or preventing the effect of free radicals, which start oxidation — a process that causes damage from oxygen that can lead to cell dysfunction. If you’ve seen a peeled apple turn brown, you’ve seen oxidation in action. As antioxidants block the effects of free radicals, they end up being oxidized. This is why it’s important to constantly replenish your supply of antioxidants… When it comes to caring for your skin, antioxidants can help to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Unlike sunscreens and moisturizers, antioxidants can protect your skin from the inside out by guarding your cells from damage. Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium are thought to be particularly helpful in skin care. In addition to helping fortify cells against free radicals, vitamins A and C also encourage cell and tissue growth, helping the body to repair itself. This is very helpful to the skin, which is constantly shedding and regrowing cells. For this reason, any antioxidants that protect cells and encourage cell growth could be helpful in an anti-aging regimen, as they may help fight fine lines and wrinkles. (Source).
In the case of collagen, topical application has been less effective historically than injections. This is because collagen molecules were too large to be absorbed by the skin. This all changed when SABRINA Collagen Rx Plus incorporated nanotechnology and marine collagen into an anti-aging cream. That same cream incorporates powerful antioxidants, that works to repair your skin and erase the fine lines and wrinkles that are an indication of damage.