A large amount of epithelial tissue present often denotes that a wound is healing successfully.
When your wound is being assessed by clinicians, they will often discuss the different types of tissue that are present at the wound site. However, these technical terms are ones that are rarely, if ever, used in daily conversation. Here is a breakdown of the four terms that you will hear most often, as well as what they mean:
Necrotic. This is a fancy term for dead tissue. Necrotic tissue occurs when certain skin cells in or on one part of the wound die off, either due to an infection, disease or age. Skin cells typically live for only two to three weeks, so if skin has been stuck under a bandage or dressing for this length or longer, there will be some dead tissue on the wound site.
Granulating. At the polar opposite end of necrotic tissue, granulating tissue is the new connective tissue that is created when the surface area is healing from an injury or wound. Due to the number of tiny blood vessels that appear at the surface of this new skin, the granulating tissue will be light red or pink in hue, and will be moist. Most is raised higher than the surrounding flesh, and oftentimes, it is bumpy (hence the term, granulating). Some people say it looks very similar to red grapefruit flesh. Despite its bright color, granulating flesh is healthy, and means that your body is working to provide a strong, protective new layer of flesh.
Sloughy. Sloughy is a type of necrotic tissue. As the name suggests, sloughy tissue is separating itself from the body/wound site, and is often stringy. Because most, if not all, of the sloughy tissue is already dead, it is often white, yellow or grey in color.
When wounds contain a lot of sloughy tissue, clinicians will likely recommend removing the tissue that is mainly disconnected, and then placing a gel or other moist primary dressing with a foam or film cover.
Epithelizing. Also called epithelializing, this type of tissue that provides the protective layer over our entire bodies. Epithelial tissue is a series of tightly-packed cells that provides one or more layers (depending on what part of the body it covers) and often slowly grows over the granulating tissue, providing a natural “dressing,” of sorts, for the soft, blood-rich tissue. A wound that has a large amount of epithelizing tissue usually means that it is recovering nicely
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