What is primary intention, secondary intention and tertiary intention healing?

Healing by first intention or Primary intention healing happens when the wound edges are approximated e.g. by sutures, staples or glue. Healing by second intention or Secondary intention healing takes place when the wound edges cannot be approximated and the wound needs to heal from the bottom. Tertiary intention healing is a combination of both of the…

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What is the difference between a wound and an ulcer?

A wound is caused by an external force whereas an ulcer is caused by an internal problem. That was the short answer. The more extended explanation is the following: In an ulcer, the primary tissue breakdown is internal, i.e. the lesion is caused by an underlying disease or other internal reason. This disturbance of the tissue will…

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What is necrosis?

Necrosis is the cell death that takes place when they have been damaged irreversibly. Necrotis tissue is dead tissue or tissue injured beyond repair - non-viable tissue. This can be a portion of soft tissue or an organ. It is often present in wounds and in order for a wound to heal, the dead (necrotic) tissue must…

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What is debridement? And what types of debridement exist?

Debridement is the process of removal of non-viable tissue (necrosis) and foreign material, e.g. sand, from a wound to expose healthy tissue. A wound containing necrotic tissue cannot heal. Necrotic tissue provides an ideal growth medium for bacteria.   There are five major techniques of debridement: Autolytic debridement: Supporting the body’s own immune system to dissolve and…

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What is Biofilm?

Biofilm is a mucous substance that bacteria secrete and in which they embed themselves. Biofilms are part of the bacterial defences against the immune system and constitute a barrier to the body’s immune cells as these encounter considerable difficulties penetrating the biofilm in order to target the bacteria inside. Biofilms are complex structures with well organised own…

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What is capillary action / capillary forces?

Capillary action is the movement of water within the spaces of a porous material due to the forces of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension. In less technical terms, capillary action occurs because water is sticky, which means that water molecules stick to each other and to other materials. Sticking to the walls of a tube or pore…

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What is the difference between Microbiome, Microbiota and Microflora in relation to wounds?

The microbiota is the population of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses and mites) inhabiting the skin / wound.   The microbiome is the wound ecosystem of which the microorganisms (the microbiota) form part alongside the products resulting from their interaction with the wound environment.   Microbiota is the newer and correct word for what was formerly referred to…

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