Are you concerned with the appearance of a cut? Is it taking a long time to heal? In this post we’ll discuss the factors affecting cut healing and the best natural ways to speed up the healing process. You’ll learn how to help a cut to heal faster by using the right remedies, such as: Calendula or Manuka honey. We’ll also help you choose the right foods and supplements to support wound healing.
How long for a cut to heal?
How long it takes for a cut to heal has no definite answer because it depends on many factors (that are explained below) and each individual. It can take from several days to a few years. Time for healing a cut is variable. The smaller the wound, the quicker it will heal.
How long does it take for a light cut to heal?
Light cuts usually heal in about a week. However there is not definite answer and it could take much more time even for a minor cut.
How long does it take for a deep cut to heal?
According to Hand Surgeon Robert Gluck, in most cases it takes about 1-2 weeks for a 1cm deep cut to heal. If your cut is larger and deeper, it will take more time to heal.
How long for a scar to heal?
Most of the time, a scar forms as healing continues. If you only injured the top layer of skin, you may not have a scar. A scar is more likely to form if your cut is deep and large. The scar may disappear completely, but this can take as long as two years. There are scars that never go away completely! If you’re interested, I give more details about scar healing in this post: Do All Cuts Scar? Learn About Scar Formation and Remedies.
What to do to accelerate healing?
Using natural remedies is a great way to speed up wound healing. Here are some of the best natural remedies to heal a cut:
Manuka honey for cuts
Manuka honey is produced by bees from the manuka or tea-tree bush. It has very strong antibacterial properties and deserves its reputation as a powerful healing agent. In fact, Manuka honey could help clear chronic wound infections and even prevent them from developing.
New research shows that Manuka honey with a high UMF rating is significantly more effective than low rating Manuka honey, or regular honey, in improving wound healing (source). This is why it’s important that you choose high quality Manuka honey.
Read this post if you want to learn more about the benefits of Manuka honey for cuts and wounds. Here I explain how to choose the right Manuka honey. The product here below (Manuka Health) is one of the most potent Manuka honey on the market.
Lavender and tea tree essential oil
There are lots of herbs that fight bacterial infection, such as Comfrey, Gotu Kola, Bayberry, Goldenseal, Echinacea, Chamomile, and St John’s Wort Oil.
Lavender and tea tree are the best essential oils to accelerate the healing process. Both oils have antibacterial properties and can help treat cuts.
If you are interested in learning how you can use essential oils for cuts, you should read this page: Tea Tree Oil for Wounds and Cuts. There’s also a great interview with Naturopathic Doctor Danny O’Rawe who explains how to use essential oils to heal a cut.
Calendula has been shown to help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which helps the body grow new tissue. It is also used to improve skin hydration and firmness.
How to use calendula to speed up healing?
For minor cuts, first cleanse the area with mild soap, rinse and dry. Then apply a thin layer of calendula cream to affected area 3 times a day. Also read this post about the amazing benefits of calendula for cuts, wounds & other skin irritations. The most popular calendula cream is the one made by Boiron.
Colloidal silver can be a great natural antibiotic if used properly. It helps kill bacteria without damaging newly forming skin cells. Also, it does not sting or burn. Here you can find information about colloidal silver and its uses.
Note: Ensure the wound is clean before application of any external treatments. Wash the wound well with soap and water – at least for several minutes. The cut should be always be clean, but don’t use chemical soap because you don’t want it to dry out.
How to support healing with nutrition?
Nutrients are important to speed up the healing process. Eating the right diet can have an effect on how long a cut takes to heal.
I recommend that you eat vitamin rich, fresh, raw vegetables and fruits. They provide enzymes to boost your immune system. Dark green and orange vegetables contain beta-carotenes, which are important to speed up healing. Also, limit sugar and processed foods, since they slow down tissue regeneration.
Protein is one of the most important nutrient factors affecting wound healing. A deficiency of protein can impair healing. Good sources of proteins are meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, legumes, grains like quinoa.
As for supplementation:
- Vitamin C, Bioflavanoids, and Vitamin A promote healing and fight infection. A deficiency in vitamin C has multiple effects on tissue repair. Vitamin C has many roles in wound healing.
- Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties and has been reported to have a role in decreasing excess scar formation in cuts.
- A study shows that the supplement InflammEnz can heal a wound 20% faster. This product combines strong antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes that can help boost the healing process.
What are the factors affecting cut healing time?
Lots of factors can affect cut healing. It mainly depends on:
The size of the cut:
Large and deep cuts take a longer time to heal. If it is too deep and large, stitches or steri-strip may be needed otherwise the cut won’t heal well on its own.
If there is an infection that is going to slow down the healing.
Wound healing time increases with age.
Location of the cut:
Areas that move or are more sensitive require more time to heal.
Nutrition has been recognized as an essential factor that can affect wound healing and patients with non-healing wounds often require special nutrients. Here you’ll find nutrition guidelines to improve wound healing.
Smoking And Alcohol:
Studies have shown that people who smoke show a delay in wound healing and an increase in a variety of complications such as infections. Alcohol also impairs wound healing and increases the incidence of infection.
Studies have demonstrated that psychological stress causes a substantial delay in wound healing.
Some medications can affect the healing process (medications which interfere with clot formation, platelet function, inflammatory responses and cell proliferation).
Other health problems can slow down cut healing:
For example, diabetes and obesity are common causes of slow wound healing. Problems with the blood circulation system can affect wound healing because the tissues do not get the required supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Is it better to bandage a wound or leave it uncovered?
It is advisable to protect cuts with a bandage to prevent infection and irritation. Studies show that a covered wound heals faster than an uncovered wound! The goal is to create a protective layer to keep the air out, prevent extensive scabbing, and speed up the growth of new skin cells.
It is recommended to apply an antimicrobial ointment to avoid the newly forming tissue to stick to the bandage. Please talk to your doctor for more information.
When Is medical treatment required?
Wound healing is complex, and there can be many causes why it does not happen properly. In spite of all you can do, a cut – even minor – can take a long time to heal. If this is the case, there may be some more severe underlying problem that can lead to dangerous complications.
Always consult your doctor for non-healing cuts. Slow-to-heal cuts may need extra care from your doctor.
Also, medical treatment is required in these situations:
- There are still remaining debris that could infect the wound.
- The cut doesn’t stop bleeding.
- It is deep and large.
- An infection ensues.
- The cut is located on sensitive skin.
In the video below, Dr. Karen Evans answers commonly asked questions about wound healing. She speaks about the factors affecting wound healing that require medical treatment:
How long does it take for a cut to heal? Most minor cuts heal in several days. But in some cases, it may take longer to heal. Several factors can affect wound healing: infection, age, diabetes, obesity, medications, stress, smoking, alcoholism, and nutrition. If your cut is infected or takes a long time to heal, you should consult your doctor.
Good nutrition is important to heal faster. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet. Eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Here I give more advice on nutrition for wound healing.
In addition, here are some of the best natural remedies to accelerate healing:
If you’re into homemade skincare products, you can also make your own healing salve. Find here below the ingredients you’ll need to make this healing “Boo-Boo” cream (recipe shared by Kristin Marr):
- Organic extra virgin olive oil (½ cup)
- Coconut oil (½ cup)
- Dried lavender (½ cup)
- Dried calendula (⅓ cup)
- Beeswax (4 tablespoons)
- Raw honey – Ideally Manuka honey (1 tablespoon)
- Tea tree oil (10 drops)
- Lavender essential oil (5 drops)
For the instructions, watch this video!
How long for a cut to heal? What are the best remedies to speed up healing? Share your story in the comment section below!