Effective hydration is a key component to wound care.

Proper hydration is essential for helping your body with everything from boosting your brain to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular failure, but did you know that it can also assist in the wound healing stages? A lack of moisture at the wound’s surface will halt cellular migration, decrease oxygenation of the blood and vastly delay the wound treatment process. Here are a few reasons why hydration is such a crucial part of wound care and how to eliminate dehydration, as it can negatively impact your injury.

The classifications of dehydration

The definition of dehydration is the abrupt loss of 3 percent or more of the body weight that is associated with water from either a depletion of sodium or water. There are three different variations of dehydration, which include:

  • Isotonic dehydration
  • Hypertonic dehydration
  • Hypotonic dehydration

Isotonic dehydration is a balanced diminution of water and sodium that occurs when an individual experiences symptoms of illnesses such as diarrhea or vomiting. Hypertonic dehydration happens when the body gradually reduces its total weight due to diminished water intake, pathologic fluid loss or both, while hypotonic dehydration occurs when both water and sodium are depleted, but sodium is lost at a faster rate, prompting extracellular fluid loss.

Its impact on wound healing

When your body is not receiving the amount of fluids it needs, several abnormalities can arise that take a toll on your lesion. These traits may include poor oxygen perfusion, essential nutrients not being delivered to the wound surface and draining inefficiency. Water is the primary way that oxygen and nutrients are delivered directly to the wound bed, and dehydration is one of the most common reasons why cell function becomes disrupted. Essentially, a lack of fluids creates delays in just about every aspect of wound healing, and if an injury doesn’t maintain proper moisture, epithelial cells that work to migrate over repaired tissue will not be able to cover the wound at a normal pace, leaving it more susceptible to open air and infection.

How to properly hydrate

Typically, the body fluctuates with water making up anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of its total weight. This means that maintaining a positive level of hydration will require no less than 64 ounces of water to be consumed on a daily basis, which is practically the equivalent of eight glasses. Keep in mind that this is the bare minimum, and someone who is trying to recover from a wound will want to drink even more water to assist in the process of cells traveling to the injury site to supply oxygen and nutrients. The easiest way to tell if you are not drinking enough water is to analyze your urine, which should be relatively clear and odorless if you are properly hydrating. Your body is constantly losing water through a variety of factors, so the most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a maximum amount when it comes to fluid intake and successful wound care.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.