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How long for a cut to heal?

On by , Digestive Care Advisor

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 and each individual. It can take from several days to a few years. However, if you do the right things from the beginning, you should be able to speed the healing process. Learn about the factors affecting cut healing and get some advice for the quickest way to heal a cut.


Last updated on June 20, 2013



How long for a cut to heal? Factors affecting cut healing

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. Time for healing a cut is variable and 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 may be needed otherwise the cut won't heal well on its own.

Infection:

If there is an infection that is going to slow down the healing.

Other health problems: 

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.

Age:

Wound healing time increases with age.

Location of the cut: 

Areas that move or are more sensitive require more time to heal.

Medication:

Some medications can affect the healing process (medications which interfere with clot formation, platelet function, inflammatory responses and cell proliferation).

Stress: 

Studies have demonstrated that psychological stress causes a substantial delay in wound healing.

Smoking: 

Studies have shown that people who smoke show a delay in wound healing and an increase in a variety of complications such as infection.

Alcohol consumption:

Alcohol impairs wound healing and increases the incidence of infection.

Nutrition:

Nutrition has been recognized as an essential factor that can affect wound healing and patients with non-healing wounds often require special nutrients. 


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.

What to do first to speed the healing of a cut?

First, do the right thing from the beginning to increase your chance of healing faster. This means evaluate the severity of the injury. Medical treatment is required when:
  • 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 any case, it is important to focus on reducing the bleeding and avoiding infection as soon as possible to speed the healing process:
  • Apply pressure on the cut to stop the bleeding.
  • Wrap a cloth or a compress around it (this cloth should be absorbent and sterile – at least clean).
  • Continue to apply pressure on the cut with your hand.
  • Raise the injured part above the level of the heart. It reduces bleeding.
  • When the bleeding is controlled, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel until it begins to feel numb. This helps constrict blood vessels.
  • Take some arnica pills to stop excessive bleeding and speed healing. 

Best ways to heal cuts naturally...

In case of minor cut:
Ensure the wound is clean before application of any external treatments. Washing the wound well with soap and water – at least for several minutes.
If you’ve got garlic (to fight infection), or turmeric (to stop bleeding) at home, you could apply one of these home remedies on the wound and bandage it.

How to heal a cut with herbal remedies

To accelerate healing, there are herbs like Comfrey and Gotu Kola. Bayberry, Goldenseal, Echinacea, Chamomile, Calendula gel, St John’s Wort Oil fight bacterial infection. Before using essential oils on a cut, read this interview with Aromatherapist Danny O'Rawe: How to use essential oils to heal a cut?

It is advisable to protect cuts with a bandage to prevent infection and irritation. The wound 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

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 dairy products, sugar and white flour, 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. Sources of proteins are meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, legumes, grains like quinoa. Dairy products are a good source of proteins, but they are not recommended as explained above.

As for supplementation:
  • Vitamin C, Bioflavanoids, and  Vitamin A to promote healing and fight infection. Vitamin C has many roles in wound healing, and a deficiency in this vitamin has multiple effects on tissue repair.
  • Vitamin E. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been reported to have a role in decreasing excess scar formation in cuts. 



Other articles on cuts


Most scrapes are minor and can be taken care of at home. What should you do when a scrape oozes?

Everybody tends to get scrapes occasionally, especially children. Discover how to treat scrapes using natural remedies.

What are the wound care first aid guidelines? Which remedies to use? Discover tips to help heal open wounds faster.

Resources and useful links about cuts


If you think this article may be useful for others and want to link to it, please use the following format: Beck, Josephine. "How long for a cut to heal" Optiderma.com. Jan 18, 2009. Last updated on June 20, 2013. http://www.optiderma.com/en/they-talk-about-it/skin-articles/how-long-for-a-cut-to-heal.html

Important: The information provided on this page about cuts is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified practitioner.

According to your own experience, tell us how long it took for your cut to heal!

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Comments from the community (52)

"Chuckee" on 2013-05-30 at 06:38:58
I cut my foot on a blade and got stitches I wanna know how long do you think it lt will take to heal
"uh," on 2013-05-15 at 01:37:11
im an ex cutter i did it once with 5 cuts near my wrists!in a day they dried can i pick the scab so they'll be less noticible or will it bleed?
"Hello" on 2013-04-29 at 22:55:36
Two days ago I fell of my bike and got a huge and deep cut that covers the majority of my knee. I have been iceing it and put ointment on it. When do you think the cut will be gone by?
"sam" on 2012-11-19 at 07:45:19
i have cut in my finger. and its very deep cut. and i also hade swalling on it what should i do?
"Ksks" on 2012-10-28 at 14:54:33
hello i cut my finger and it about 1.5 cm long and i have not visited any doctor its not bloodshed but a bit like water it's about 3 days what do you think may it heal or not..?
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