Daily Bulletin


  • Written by Christina Parker, Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology
Curious Kids: how do wounds heal? If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au. I would like to know how wounds heal. – Simon, age 7. Thank you for this excellent question, Simon. To explain how the body heals a break in the skin, I first need to explain a bit about how skin works. Did you know the skin is the largest organ in the body? It has three layers that protect us from germs and help our body keep the right temperature. For example, when our body gets too hot, we have sweat glands in the skin that release salty water to cool us down (it’s like air conditioning in our bodies). Our skin also has a lot of sensors so we can touch and feel hot and cold. Read more: Curious Kids: how does our blood fight viruses like chicken pox and colds? Plugging the wound Once we get a wound, the first thing the body tries to do is stop the bleeding. Within minutes or even seconds, tiny things in your blood called “blood cells” start to group together, protecting and plugging up the wound to stop any more bleeding. A scab will start to form. The body tries to plug up the wound as quick as it can. It wants to stop germs getting in through broken skin and making you really sick. But even as this happens, the wound may let out a bit of clear fluid that helps to clean the wound. Your doctor may also decide to close your wound with stitches, special glue or staples to keep the skin together until the body has built new skin to heal. Curious Kids: how do wounds heal? Scabs help keep germs out. Shutterstock Behind the scenes Under the skin, your body is hard at work cleaning and fixing. The wound may be swollen, red and painful. Doctors call this “inflammation”. Swelling like this means the body is sending more fluid, oxygen and blood cells to the wound to get to work fixing it. In your blood there are special “soldier” cells in charge of fighting germs. They are called white blood cells, and as soon as you get a cut, your body will send a lot of white blood cells to the wound to get to work. They eat any germs that may have come in when your skin was broken and they also guide the healing process. The blood cells in the body then work to start building new skin, layer by layer. One thing they do is tell the body to start producing more of a chemical called “collagen” which helps the skin form new layers. It usually takes a few days for a wound to heal fully, but it sometimes takes much longer. If you get a really big wound, you might get a scar. A scar is also made out of collagen. It is a mark on your skin. Sometimes they stay there forever, and sometimes they disappear or get lighter over time. Curious Kids: how do wounds heal? White blood cells will eat any germs that may have come in when your skin was broken. Shutterstock How to help your body fix a wound It is important to keep the wound clean, damp and covered to help it heal quicker. Wounds that are left uncovered are likely to dry out and are not protected from other injuries. If your wound creates a scab, it might get really itchy. But try not to scratch! Your skin is busy healing underneath. Just let it fall off on its own. Band-aids are perfect to protect small wounds from further injury. You should eat healthy food to help fuel your body while it fixes itself. Your body needs protein (like meat, milk and cheese), carbohydrates (like bread and pasta) and vitamins (like oranges, carrots and spinach). These foods supply energy for healing your wound, and help your immune system fight germs. Read more: Curious Kids: why do we have two kidneys when we can live with only one? Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au Curious Kids: how do wounds heal? CC BY-ND Please tell us your name, age and which city you live in. We won’t be able to answer every question but we will do our best.

Authors: Christina Parker, Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

Read more http://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-wounds-heal-118603

How unis can save millions by tackling the biggest causes of online students' high dropout rates


NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached its destination, 1.5 million km from Earth. Here's what happens next


Ancient knowledge is lost when a species disappears. It's time to let Indigenous people care for their country, their way


The Conversation

Business News

How to Create Better Pay Stubs for Your Employees

Running business operations is not easy, and there is a lot that employers can do to make it easier for their employees. One of the biggest concerns is pay stubs, also known as paychecks or payrol...

NewsServices.com - avatar NewsServices.com

What you need to know before buying any business

Before buying any business, the first thing you need to know is how long the business has been in operation. It is because you'll be investing time, money, and other resources into the business, i...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

5 Reasons your Business Needs Lean Consulting

If you want to implement the lean management system or you've just started, you might be considering working with a firm that's an expert in lean consulting to reinforce your training, execution, ...

NewsServices.com - avatar NewsServices.com