Did you know that skin is the largest organ that makes up the human body? Our skin has a multitude of functions, from regulating body temperature to protecting us from the elements.
Our skin has remarkable healing properties, but that doesn't mean it isn't prone to wear and tear. Scarring is inevitable, but did you know that diet and nutrition can actually affect scar healing?
In this article, we'll explore how proper nutrition can be beneficial for new tissue growth and provide a few steps you can take to maximize your healing.
Stages of Scar Healing
There are three main stages that occur during the wound healing process. The nutrients involved in each of these stages are numerous, ranging from protein to copper.
During the first stage, immune cells battle infection and break down the damaged tissue. Increased blood flow to the wound itself allows this to happen.
During the second stage, special cells move in and begin to rebuild. New tissue grows and oxygen and nutrients get delivered to the new tissue via newly built blood vessels.
In the third and last stage, scar tissue begins to form. This process is called remodeling. A healthy body will, in general, help this process of healing occur more smoothly.
Vitamins and Nutrients
As mentioned above, the vitamins and nutrients needed for healing to occur are numerous. Some of these include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Essential fats
During each of the different stages, some of the nutrients will be needed more than others. These nutrients all allow the proper healing of a wound to take place. This is why proper nutritional support is so essential to scar healing.
Poor nutrition either before or during a scar's healing process can cause delays in healing. In addition, the strength of the wound itself may be prone to breaking down if not properly fueled during healing. This is true for all scar types, from acne marks to post-surgical marks.
Stress hormones are released when the body sustains an injury. This causes the body's metabolism to change, diverting necessary nutrients to the injured part of the body. If adequate nutrition is not provided during this, the body goes into what is known as a protein energy malnutrition state.
This is where the body will break down any stores of protein for energy, thus affecting the energy needed to heal a scar.
Eating Is Healing
Feeding your body with nutrient-dense foods throughout the day is crucial to scar healing. Avoid dieting or calorie restrictions to give your body the energy needed to build new tissue.
Some steps you can take to promote efficient healing include:
- Plan balanced meals with sufficient calories
- Incorporate vitamin C rich veggies and fruits like broccoli or oranges
- Stay on top of keeping well hydrated
- Make sure to incorporate complete proteins for proper collagen production
- Incorporating skin serum or anti-aging ingredients into your skincare routine
As full health looks different for everyone, it's also a good idea to talk with your doctor to confirm what vitamins and minerals are best to support your healing.
Smoothing It Out
Food as medicine rings true when it comes to scar healing. Good nutrition is necessary for the formation of new skin tissue and overall healing.
If you're looking for help with healing, Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo ("Dr. C") specializes in skincare safety and skin rejuvenation. From taking care of fine lines and wrinkles to offering post-surgery scar treatments, as a board-certified surgeon, Dr. C provides personalized skincare safe for cancer patients and non-cancer patients alike.
Why not get started on your healing journey by contacting us today?