Optimum wound healing is important for general health

As the largest organ in your body, one of the skin’s major functions is to maintain a physical barrier against the outside environment. This barrier acts like a wall to block the entry of harmful substances and bacteria that can cause illness and infection.

When your skin sustains a wound, this barrier is broken and leaves your body exposed to whatever may be lurking in the environment around it.

Therefore, optimum wound healing is important to repair the skin as quickly as possible and re-establish a barrier to protect your body from unwanted intruders and help keep you healthy.

Basic anatomy of the skin

Basic skin anatomy

The importance of nutrition for wound healing

Wound healing is a complex process that involves high cell turnover, replacing injured tissue with new tissue produced by the body. For this to happen, your body requires an increased amount of nutrients, particularly protein and calories.1-3

That’s in addition to the basic nutrients required for the normal functioning of your body. The body needs more of the specific nutrients important for wound healing, therefore knowing how to improve nutrition for wound healing is essential.

What happens if nutrition is not adequate?

When your body doesn’t get enough protein or energy to maintain healthy bodily tissues, in some cases, it can break down the protein stored in muscle for energy.

Your body also may not have enough protein or energy to heal a wound properly. In fact, when your body needs to choose how it uses the protein it has, it will often prioritise the rebuilding of body tissue at the expense of wound healing.4

graphic: poor wound healing
an elderly couple

Wounds that need more nutrition

Large wounds

Multiple wounds

Wounds with a lot of fluid or discharge

Infected wounds

Slow healing wounds
(taking more than 4-6 weeks to heal)

Optimal nutrition for wound healing

There are a number of nutrients that play an important role in wound healing. Not everyone will be able to get the nutrients they need through their diet. The following factors may indicate that additional nutrition support is required for wound healing:

  • scale iconYou are losing weight or have lost weight unintentionally
  • Poor appetite iconYou have poor appetite
  • Tiredness medicationsYou feel weak and tired
  • Delicate skin iconYour skin is thin and wounds easily
  • Slow healing wounds iconYou have slow healing wounds
  • Age iconYou have reduced nutrition intake due to age related appetite loss and/or lack of access to nutritions foods
  • Residential aged care facility iconYou are entering into a residential aged care facility with a wound present
  • Hospital iconYou have frequent admissions or re-admissions to hospital for more than one week
ARGINAID products

Oral nutritional supplements such as ARGINAID® contain essential nutrients and have been shown to help support wound management.5

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