The body is made up of about 60% water. It makes sense then that a skin wound will heal better and faster when it is kept moist as compared to dry. When you scrape, cut or burn your skin, your body wants to repair it quickly and effectively. If allowed to dry, a scraped area forms a scab, which is an accumulation of dried blood and serous fluid. This scab covers the wound but also delays its healing by preventing the surrounding skin from migrating over the scraped area and restoring the skin barrier. Your body has to work harder to repair the wound. It essentially has to plow under the scab and slowly displace it until the entire wound is repaired. If you took the same scraped area and, instead of letting it dry out, applied some bacitracin ointment or skin lotion several times a day, preventing it from getting dry, the body is able to cover it again with skin much faster, and with less irritation and pain. We do not want to let the skin get pale and macerated (waterlogged), but just to stay slightly moist. Same goes for a repaired skin cut or even a burn.
Remember that the skin is a large barrier, helping to protect your body from infection and to retain moisture. You want to cover injured skin with an absorbable dressing that can breathe a bit, such as a band aide with tiny air holes or a Telfa-type non-stick dressing. Gently clean the wound with warm soapy water, rinse and pat the skin dry. Apply the bacitracin and the band aide or telfa dressing and change twice a day. No soaking the wound in tubs, swimming pools or hot tubs until the skin has healed. If you get a sunburn, instead of letting it get dry and itchy, keep the burned area moist with moisturizing skin lotion, containing aloe vera if possible, several times a day. Your burn will heal faster and will be less itchy.
Not only does a moist wound heal faster but it also can have less discomfort and scarring. If you have ever picked off a scab, you immediately feel pain as you are tearing off the skin under the scab. It bleeds and hurts a lot. Now imagine how tough it is for your body to try and grow skin under a scab to displace it. When scabs are picked off there will be less effective healing and a higher risk of scaring. Prevent the problem in the first place and don’t let the scab form. Keep the wound clean, moist and covered until the skin is intact and your skin wound, be it a cut, scrape, burn or laser tattoo treatment area. It will feel better during the healing process, will heal faster and the end result will be superior to the dry/scab healing process. At Remove A Tattoo, we encourage you to apply the principles skin care after your laser tattoo treatment for quick healing and better comfort.