What in the World is Wet-Wound Healing?

At EnBiologics, we talk an awful lot about “wet-wound healing”. In fact, it’s one of the first things we mention any time we talk about our flagship product, HoneyCure. Now, as a clever consumer, the type of person to keep an eye out for UMF+ labels and to educate themselves on Manuka honey, you’re probably looking for a little more information than a buzzword on a product label. So, you might be asking yourself, “What the heck is ‘wet-wound healing’, and why are they making such a fuss about it?”

At its most basic, “wet-wound healing” literally refers to a wound that is kept moist to encourage the healing process. Usually, some kind of ointment or liniment is applied to the wound, creating a wet protective layer that keeps the affected area moist, preventing inflammation and quickening the wound’s healing. If you’ve ever peeled a band-aid off a scraped elbow that hasn’t quite finished healing, then you’ve probably noticed two things. First of all, the wound itself is actually a little wet. Secondly, assuming that it’s been bandaged the whole time, there’s a pretty good chance that no scab has formed over the scrape.

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Of course, you’ve probably had similar scrapes or scratches and didn’t bother with a bandage. In this case, a dry wound left to open air, your body will begin to form a scab at the surface of the wound. The scab serves the same purpose as the bandage, it keeps any nasty stuff from getting into the wound and infecting it, but the dried-out wound site will heal much more slowly than wound treated with wet-wound care. You’ve no doubt noticed that a skinned elbow heals a lot more quickly when it’s bandaged up opposed to a skinned elbow left to dry out.

There’s a whole bunch of very in-depth science that describes how a body heals a surface wound, but the crux of wet-wound healing vs dry healing can be boiled down to the fact that cells just don’t function as well when they’re left out to dry (this is also why, although peroxide’s great for killing infectants, it also has a nasty habit of killing a lot of the cells at a wound site). Cells like a moist environment. An aqueous, aerated environment encourages cell growth, division, and migration, resulting in faster formation of tissue and, in the case of a wound, faster healing with minimal scarring.

 An example of healing in a dry wound (Top) and a moist wound (Bottom).

An example of healing in a dry wound (Top) and a moist wound (Bottom).

Without a moist environment (such as one provided by, say, HoneyCure) the body naturally forms a scab over the open wound to prevent any kind of infection. The scab does do an excellent job of keeping any nasty infectants from getting into the wound, but it also slows down the healing of the tissue.

To summarize, we talk a lot about “wet-wound healing” here at EnBiologics, simply because it’s the best way for a wound to heal. A wound treated properly with wet-wound care is going to heal much more quickly, scarring will be kept to a minimum, if not prevented altogether, and inflammation will be nonexistent. Wet-wound care products provide the perfect environment for your body (or your horse’s body, or your pet’s body) to repair tissue. Given that we’re in the business of providing the best wound care, it’s only natural that we talk about wet-wound healing so much.