Tissue Repair

Although the body is able to repair tissue damage there is always some scar tissue.

When the skin is broken, blood cells move into the wound and the blood clotting process starts. A protein in the blood plasma called fibrinogen is released and this starts to form a mesh over the surface. This mesh prevents further blood leaking out. The mesh dries out to form a scab.

Histamine is released to make the blood vessels dilate. Vasodilation allows blood cells to leak out from the blood vessels to help in the healing process. The cells can also attack unwanted micro-organisms that might have entered through the open wound. The increased circulation gives the area an inflamed red appearance.

Fibroblast cells begin to produce new collagen cells and a protein called actin. Actin helps to slowly draw the edges of the wound together as it is able to contract. It takes the epidermis about 48 hours to heal but the deeper tissues take much longer and the area might look red for 2–4 weeks.

Some very deep damage might take even longer to fully repair. Working over scar tissue is contra-indicated as the healing process could be on-going even though the epidermis has healed.