The Science Of Wound Healing

iS CLINICAL products are specifically formulated to enhance the healing process for post-surgical wound patients.

It doesn’t matter how a skin wound occurs – a sunburn, a chemical peel or even a surgical incision — nature uses the same, uniform biologic process to heal them all and it occurs on a microscopic level. Healthy skin will naturally begin this process immediately after the wound occurs and iS CLINICAL Products can assist the skin in returning to a healthy, beautiful state.

The Basics of Healing

Progress through the stages of wound healing may vary somewhat in wounds of differing type or severity but still consists of the same basic processes.Some wounds are complex, involve recurring injury or infection, and may require an overall longer time to heal. Some wounds, such as sunburns, are less severe than others, such as ablative laser wounds. Less severe wounds may, in fact, resolve more quickly but still involve the same stages of healing, much of which occurs on a microscopic level. While the medical literature on wound healing is broad, our focus is specifically on healing post-aesthetic procedures and the benefits iS CLINICAL products can provide as part of this process.

The Stages of Healing

Phase One: Hemostasis (immediate response)

Most surgical wound healing begins with an initial subcategory: hemostasis or simply the cessation of bleeding. The very first step in wound recovery for those aesthetic procedures that have required an incision, puncture or other invasive procedure is hemostasis or bleeding cessation. 

Some procedures, such as those involving incisions or punctures (microneedling, for example), require a hemostasis response. Other processes, such as those that use lasers or radiofrequency microneedling, stop the bleeding automatically. There is also another category of wounds that don’t visibly bleed at all, such as a mild sunburn.

Phase Two: Inflammation (a few days to a few weeks)

Inflammation plays an important role in the overall healing process: it clears out damaged and dead tissue, allowing healthy new tissue to grow. However, it’s important that inflammation be kept under control – too much inflammation or inflammation lasting excessively long can result in an aesthetically displeasing scar. 

Excessive inflammation or inflammation that persists too long is detrimental to healing. All iS CLINICAL products contain botanical ingredients, providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that enhances the healing process. Independent clinical study documentation proves that PRO-HEAL SERUM ADVANCE+ can normalize inflammation. The iS CLINICAL products GENEXC SERUM, WHITE LIGHTENING COMPLEXPRO-HEAL SERUM ADVANCE+, and SUPER SERUM ADVANCE+ provide a high Oxygen Radical Absorptive Capacity (ORAC), which neutralizes large numbers of highly inflammatory free radicals.

Phase Three: Proliferation (several weeks to several months, though less for smaller wounds)

The next step in wound healing is proliferation, which is the formation of new tissue and structures to replace those that were damaged by the initial injury. Ineffective collagen formation can result in a visually unacceptable wound as well as a wound that will hold together poorly. The building blocks of this process must be synthesized from nutrient substances within the body, and it’s important to encourage good nutrition with patients during this healing phase.

Collagen synthesis, especially production of Collagen I, is especially crucial to adequate wound healing. Skin is the largest repository of collagen in the body. All iS CLINICAL products found in the YOUTH family of products aid in collagen production by providing an important growth factor analog, copper tripeptide-1. This important molecule is also an ingredient in  SUPER SERUM ADVANCE+ and C EYE SERUM ADVANCE+. The benefits of copper tripeptide-1 are well known in the medical literature; it’s a bio-identical molecule (molecularly identical to that made by the human body) used by the body to heal and regenerate tissue.

Independent clinical studies have documented that YOUTH COMPLEX and SUPER SERUM ADVANCE+, both containing copper tripeptide-1, increase the synthesis of Procollagen I, precursor to Collagen I and the most beneficial collagen in wound healing.

Additionally, Vitamin C and copper are cofactors required for collagen synthesis. All ADVANCE+ Vitamin C iS CLINICAL products contain Vitamin C as does YOUTH INTENSIVE CRÈMEGENEXC SERUM and  WHITE LIGHTENING COMPLEX

Phase Four: Maturation (up to two years)

While collagen starts to play an important role in proliferation, it becomes even more important during the maturation stage of wound healing, acting as a scaffold to support the wound as it constricts and strengthens. Three to four months post-op, an incision has about 70 to 80 percent of its ultimate tensile strength.

Complications in wound healing

There are some circumstances in which healing can be compromised or delayed. As we age, our body’s metabolic process slows down, and healing can take more time. Poorly controlled diabetes, severe vascular disease or smoking can also slow this process. Adequate nutrition, both dietary and topical, are perhaps even more important for the metabolically challenged individual. 

To aid in recovery for all post-procedure wounds, regardless of their complexity,  iS CLINCIAL recommends SHEALD RECOVERY BALM used in conjunction with CLEANSING COMPLEX. An independent clinical study using these two products compared to the most common petrolatum-based wound care agent showed 54 percent more rapid healing (re-epithelialization), 85 percent fewer milia and 41 percent less peeling after fractional laser procedures.

For moisturization following healing, REPARATIVE MOISTURE EMULSION and YOUTH EYE COMPLEX are highly nutrient-dense and contain no resurfacing agents that could increase exfoliation of newly-formed epithelium. 

For more information about iS CLINICAL products and their effects on wound healing, download our white paper here.

For additional education, follow Dr. Charlene DeHaven on Instagram @CharleneDeHavenMD