Applying a plaster on  shoulder

10 Myths about
Wound Healing

Of course you know that there is a plaster
for any wound. But what else do you know
about wound healing? Find out in our article –
and learn some more interesting facts
Cuts on fingers and hands and abrasions on knees: given that those are the most common of everyday injuries, it is surprising how little we know about their proper treatment. Actually, many mistakes are made when it comes to taking care of these (often painful) wounds. That is why we thought it was about time to put the ten most common and persistent myths of wound care to the test. Read on –  after a few minutes you will know how to better relieve pain, avoid complications and support the healing process of any future wound or small injury.

01   Myths

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Do wounds heal better when exposed to air?"
Wounds should be covered with a plaster.
Applying plaster on an elbow

This a myth that has persisted for decades.  Surprising, as the top priority of wound care should always be to keep a wound as clean, germ-free and protected as possible. That is why after having cleaned the wound with a wound spray (free of alcohol, so that it doesn't hurt) one should always apply a plaster on the injured area!

All Hansaplast plasters are breathable and protect the wound from external influences, so that dirt and bacteria cannot penetrate and the risk of infection is reduced. In addition, the wound pad of  the plaster will cushion the wound and protect from painful friction and pressure. Result: Wound healing can take place as undisturbed as possible.

Another common myth is that bacteria are supposed to feel especially comfortable under a wound dressing. Quite the contrary is true: Using the correct plaster to cover up a wound which has previously been cleaned out will protect it from contamination through germs and bacteria, thus preventing possible infections. Especially those plasters containing silver as active ingredient of the wound pad are proven to act against a broad spectrum of bacteria and will promote wound healing. The silver contained in their wound pad actually has a direct effect on the bacterias' cell metabolism, preventing a further increase in the number of bacteria and actively combating those microorganisms.

02   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Plasters are a possible breeding ground for germs"
Plasters protect against dirt and germs. Silver wound pads have an antibacterial effect.
Large square wound dressing

03   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"The better the wound care, the smaller the scar"
Optimal wound care protects against infections and reduces the risk of scarring.
Applying Wound Spray to wound on the knee

Quite true. For thorough cleaning and taking care of your injury with the right dressing or plaster will help your body heal the best it can. Thus, potential complications such as bacterial infections, re-tearing of the wound caused by external influences and crusty scabs are avoided - all of those being factors that would contribute to scarring.

Plasters such as Hansaplast Fast Healing, based on the principle of moist wound healing are ideally suited to reduce the risk of scarring, leaving your skin with a satisfactory cosmetic result.

Correct. Wounds that take unusually long to heal may very well be a signal of the body. Wounds that are especially reluctant to heal may for example be a typical symptom of a disease such as diabetes mellitus, or may indicate an impaired immune system or blood circulation problems. Therefore it is important to have your wound checked by a doctor for possible causes if you suspect that it takes longer than usual to heal in spite of it being properly cared for.

04   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Slowly healing wounds can be an indication for serious diseases"
Seek medical advice when your wound heals unusually slow.
A doctor

05   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"The deeper the wound, the greater the pain"
Superficial wounds such as abrasions of the skin are most of the time particularly painful.
Illustration of an abrasion

Thinking that this may be true makes sense somehow, as it is easy to assume that a wound may be the more painful the deeper it is. However, just the opposite can be the case. Due to the large number of nerve fibres located just under the top layer of our skin (the epidermis) superficial abrasions or burns will often cause more pain than a stab or a cut that may happen when working in the kitchen or workshop. Caution: any deep puncture wounds or cuts that bleed severely should always be cared for by a doctor!

Many people tend to apply a plaster in the acute phase of the injury only, that is, just until the bleeding has stopped. Then the plaster is removed and discarded as quickly as possible in order "to let the wound breathe".

Scientific studies have shown, however, that in most cases wound healing will proceed better and without complications if the wound is protected with a  plaster until they have healed off completely. There is even a new generation of plasters, such as Hansaplast Fast Healing, which will enable optimal healing conditions for your wound whilst protecting it from harmful external influences.
These special plasters can and should be left on the wound for two days or longer, so as not to interfere with the ongoing healing process and leave the wound intact. If you use a conventional plaster, however, it is recommend to  change it every day or  to renew it after it has gotten wet, for reasons of hygiene.


06   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Wounds just need a plaster on day one"
Using a plaster on wounds is advisable until the final heal up.
applying a plaster to the inside of a hand

07   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Alcohol cleans and disinfects wounds best"
Alcohol stings and damages the wound tissue. Better are alcohol-free wound sprays with antiseptic agents.
Applying Wound Spray to a hand

Careful! Unfortunately, this is one of the most common misconceptions around. Alcohol is not a good choice for cleaning and disinfecting an injury for a number of reasons: It will not only burn on your skin when being applied (which makes it particularly unsuitable for treating children´s wounds). What is worse is that it is completely unsuitable for extremely sensitve wound tissue. Experts recommend to use products free of alcohol, containing antiseptic agents such as polyhexanide instead, as correct choice for painless wound disinfection and cleaning, for example Hansaplast Wound Spray which is alcohol-free. It does not burn and will support wound healing.

This is a legend that seems to originate from pirate and adventure novels. Even if many of us would love to believe this romantic theory: we are afraid to have to tell you that it is complete nonsense.

What many people do not consider is that sea water may be severely contaminated, especially near those coast stretches - with a variety of highly unsavoury germs or chemicals "swimming" in it. Both of which would contribute significantly to the risk of an infection and can delay wound healing. In addition, contact with water will swell the skin, which may affect the process of wound closure. In this case, bacteria and germs may easily enter the wound and the risk of wound infection would be increased dramatically.

08   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Seawater supports the healing process"
Wounds should be protected against water. Waterproof plasters that prevent the ingress of bacteria provide optimum protection.
Illustration of water being repelled by a plaster

09   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Wounds itch when healing"
When healing, wounds normally start itching. However, avoid scratching to prevent the risk of infection.
Illustration of an infected wound

We all know the feeling: some time after an injury, the affected area will begin to tingle and itch. This goes especially for superficial wounds.

And yes – in fact, this itching may indicate that the healing process is well on its way. 

But do watch out! Should your wound be very red, suppurate, or the itching turn into a throbbing sensation, you should definitely consult a doctor because these could be signs of an infection that should be treated medically as soon as possible.

Playing down a small wound? Unfortunately, many of us make that mistake. Though it should be clear to anybody that for a bacterium, even the smallest pinprick offers a huge entry hole into our body. Therefore: Always treat any wound with appropriate wound care, no matter how small it may be. This helps to prevent infection and will ensure optimal healing.

10   Myth

Right answer
Unfortunately, wrong answer
"Small wounds need not be treated."
Even small wounds should be optimally protected against infections with a plaster.
Applying a small plaster on an arm

Conclusion: Put a plaster on it!

Taking proper care of your injury can accomplish almost small miracles when it comes to your skin; especially if you use the right plaster to cover it. That is why it is worthwhile to always have wound spray and plasters at hand as well as a selection of different plasters and wound dressings in different sizes, so that you are be prepared for all eventualities.

We hope to have clarified a few misconceptions on the topic of wound care and brought you up to date, so that you and your family can benefit from it. Take good care!

Applying a small plaster on an arm

Last but not least...
...we would like to point out that all of the above given tips have been compiled carefully, but naturally cannot substitute medical advice and treatment. This applies most notably for larger and large injuries which in any event require medical care. Please always read the instructions for use and/or the patient information leaflet of our products carefully to make the best use of them. Thank you.

Always see your doctor if the wound is deep, bleeding or shows signs of infection like reddening, swelling or warmth.
Also make sure to seek medical help if you are not able to clean the wound properly.

In case you have diabetes a proper wound care is of special importance. Always discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor and/or podiatrist, even for the care of minor wounds and skin cracks – especially on your feet.
Please note that none of the above given tips or recommendations substitute medical advice. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products‘ packages. Important: consult a health professional in case of any uncertainty of treating your wound properly.
The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care or advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website.
For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products‘ packages.

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