How long does damaged skin take to heal?
Since our skin is our biggest organ covering our entire body, it plays an essential role when it comes to protecting us from harmful external elements. At times the elements that our skin is meant to protect us from us such as unpleasant rough weather and chemicals can cause injuries to our skin.
The role of skin barrier when it comes to skin healing
In previous articles we have discussed the important role of skin barrier when it comes to protecting our skin. The skin barrier is made up of several layers which are the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue. As soon as the skin barrier is damaged a series of events follow which include things like inflammation, rise of blood flow and events which cause skin cells to become active and discharge more collagen which is meant to react and repair the skin ultimately.
What are the causes that lead to the skin barrier getting damaged?
As you may imagine being exposed to so many external elements makes our skin very vulnerable to harm and damage. External elements such as harsh UV rays from the sun, chemicals, radiation or acne can all harm and damage the skin barrier. Once the skin barrier has been damaged a cascade of events can occur ranging from itchy skin, dry skin and skin that is inflamed which also can lead to our skin being infected.
Furthermore, as with other medical conditions other factors can also play a role in the skin being damaged. These factors are varied and include age, environmental factors, sleep routine, diet nutrients, stress levels, hydration and individual medical conditions.
The process of healing skin
We have already identified the signs to look for when it comes to skin damage and what causes the skin barrier to be damaged. Once the damage has happened you must start repairing the skin barrier and begin the healing process. Once the healing process starts there are some signs to look for to see if the skin healing is proceeding properly.
One of the most important signs that the skin is healing is reduced inflammation and redness which usually show between 1-2 days after you have started to repair process. Furthermore, you can look for other signs that indicate the skin is healing such as less or no itching, less flaking or peeling, softer and smoother skin, the skin getting back its normal colour and better hydration of the damaged skin. Overall, it can take between 2 to 4 weeks for the functions of the skin barrier to be fully restored.
Ways to protect the skin
As with other health conditions the best remedy is prevention rather than treatments. You can prevent skin damage by following some simple guidelines such as protecting yourself from sun damage by applying sunscreen, not being outdoor and exposed to the sun during its strongest hours and wearing protective clothing when outdoors and exposed to the sun.
Other ways you can protect yourself from skin damage include applying moisturizers for damaged skin regularly, using gentle skincare products free of fragrances and avoiding exfoliating.