According to a survey from the Johnson & Johnson BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages team, many people are uninformed about proper wound care. Their survey revealed that 56 percent of people to do not ask for information or advice on wound care. Instead they rely on knowledge that has been passed on from their parents or even their grandparents, which may contribute to popular misconceptions about advances in the science of wound healing. Of the small percent of the population that does seek information about wound care, 42 percent of them search for information online. This can also result in perpetuating wound care myths, as even seemingly trustworthy websites can sometimes have flawed or out-of-date information. For example, a widely-held belief is that it's best to let a wound "breathe," when studies have shown that a covered wound heals faster, reduces scarring and infection. According to the survey, 65 percent of the respondents said they covered their wound and then actively removed the cover after the first day and 15 percent of the survey respondents never cover their wound at all.
Even some healthcare providers can be misinformed about the science behind wound care. For example, some healthcare professionals still believe that scabs are a sign of healing. However research dating back to the early 1960s shows that keeping a wound from drying out is best and that scabs may actually slow down the healing process and may lead to more pronounced scarring. Watch the below video for more information.
The below videos discuss five common wound care myths that are popular among the patient population. Have you come across these misconceptions with your patients? What do you do to promote proper wound care? Tell us about your experiences educating patients by posting on our Facebook Page or by chatting with the @JNJNursingNotes handle on Twitter.
For more information about proper wound care, commons myths and other resources, visit the BAND-AID® website here www.band-aid.com.
Five Misconceptions About Wound Healing
1. It’s best to let a wound breathe.
2. Scars are inevitable.
3. Its best to let minor cuts & scrapes heal on their own.
4. Once the bleeding stops remove the bandage.
5. All bandages are created equal.
Studies of scarring have shown that, of the three stages of wound healing, the extent of the early inflammatory response is a key predictor of scarring after tissue injury. Enzymes produced during inflammation determine the degree of tissue loss at the site of injury – excessive tissue loss leaves a large area without matrix, which is ultimately replaced with scar tissue during the remodeling phase. Wounds that are left open tend to be more inflamed than wounds that are covered. Winter reported that full thickness wounds in swine contracted more rapidly and developed smaller scars if they were covered than if they were exposed to air (Winter, Oct 1963). Occlusive dressings have been reported not just to increase healing rates but also to affect positive outcome in scars through the promotion of a moist wound healing environment. In a study of subjects with surgical incisions, the half of the incision that was covered with a semiocclusive dressing showed less eschar formation, better apposition of wound edges and decreased inflammation when compared to the control half (Linsky et al., 1981). Long-term observations of the wounds in this study through 6 months showed that in 40% of the wounds, the part of the incision covered with semiocclusive dressing had a better appearance (less scarring) than the uncovered part. Similar results regarding inflammation were seen by the same group of investigators studying incisional wounds in guinea pigs: the occlusively covered wounds showed less inflammation than air-exposed wounds in the initial days following injury, and histologically the air-exposed control wounds showed a greater fibroblastic response in the dermal layers, with a larger area of involvement after 7 days of healing. This group found that the dressing had to be in place during the major portion of the inflammatory response, that is, the first 2 to 3 days after wounding, to affect fibroplasias. Additional: Eaglstein WH Moist wound healing with occlusive dressings: a clinical focus, 2001. Dermatol. Surg, 27:175-181. “Moist wound healing minimizes the occurrence of scabs which minimizes the appearance of scarring”