Two days ago, my daughter came to me displaying a horrible blister on the heel of her foot. Apparently, two days before that, she’d developed the blister while wearing bowling shoes and my seven-year old nephew had doctored it for her, adding a small circle Band-aid to the boo-boo. Neither child bothered to inform an adult about the blister and the only excuse I have for missing the band-aid during bath time is that it was small and flesh colored.
So, by the time this blister was shown to me the band-aid was falling off and it looked terrible. It was a mean red color and was draining badly and the only thought I had was that there was no way it was better than it was when she first got it. It had to be getting worse. I then became concerned that the band-aid was actually going to cause it to take longer to heal so I decided to do a little research on the subject. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I could remember hearing that cuts and scrapes need air to heal. This made sense to me, judging from the look of the blister. Better to let it scab over. Or so I thought. After checking on it, I learned the following.
1. Not covering a scrape or cut can actually slow the healing process by blocking skin cells that are healthy, causing them to have to make their way under a scab to begin to create the new tissue needed for healing. Scabs do not mean faster healing.
2. Covering a cut or scrape will protect it from being reopened, which could lead to an increase in scarring, not to mention a longer healing time.
3. Cuts and scrapes that are scabbed over are more likely to scar. Skin cells have to work harder when trying to rebuild under a scab. Healing skin should be smooth.
4. Covering cuts and scrapes keep out the elements, such as dirt and germs, protecting from infections. Infections can cause not only a longer healing time, but can be dangerous.
5. A covered cut or scrape is going to have a better opportunity to heal effectively. Natural fluids will drain from an injury and a band-aid or bandage will soak this up. This allows skin cells to have a natural moisture to move through while it works to form new, smooth skin.
This all made sense to me too. Two days ago, I decided to continue treating with band-aids, making sure to clean the blister properly between applications. This morning, the blister finally looked better to me. Much better, in fact. My guess is, in a few more days, you’ll barely be able to tell it was there. So, my vote is going to be to cover the scrapes and cuts on my child. Her skin is too important not to and the new styles, colors, and characters on them are too cool.