Healing Cuts and Wounds Quickly

Healing Cuts and Wounds Quickly

Publish Date July 27, 2023 4 Minute Read
Author Johnson & Johnson

Whether it’s a scraped knee or a cut on the tip of your finger, your body’s actually pretty good at patching you up and repairing minor damage. As impressive as the natural healing process is, there are ways you can support your skin, speed up any repairs and reduce the risk of infection. Read on to explore our tips and tricks for keeping your skin healthy as it heals.

How Your Skin Heals Itself

When it comes to repairs, nothing works quite as efficiently as the body’s largest organ – your skin. After it’s been damaged, there are 4 key stages of healing your body undergoes to get things back to how they were.

  1. Scabbing Over (Hemostasis) As you might imagine, a cut to the skin will usually result in some bleeding. Typically, your blood will begin clotting within minutes of a cut. A natural function of blood, clotting happens when the individual blood cells start to gather and form a protective barrier which stops more blood from escaping. The clots will quickly dry out and form a scab.
  2. Inflammation Once the scab covers your wound and the blood has clotted, your body will automatically open any surrounding blood vessels to get oxygen to the area. White blood cells also arrive on the scene to help fight off any infections and help with the repairs. If you’re looking at your cut at this stage, you might notice some mild inflammation, or even a clear liquid seeping from your scrape. Inflammation is normally just a sign of increased blood flow, and clear liquid is usually the cut cleaning itself.
  3. Repairing and Rebuilding Once the groundwork has been laid, your skin can start to repair itself. Underneath your skin and the scab, blood continues to flow, carrying oxygen-rich red blood cells to the injury. Here, your body’s at work meticulously creating new cells to replace the ones you’ve lost and damaged. Collagen is produced and used to patch you up, creating new tissue and skin while you go about your day. If you look carefully, you may notice some minor scarring developing.
  4. Strengthening As the healing process reaches its final stages, you might feel some itching around and under your scab. You might also see and feel stretching and puckering as your skin repairs itself. The length of time it takes to heal depends entirely on the initial cut. For most wounds, your skin should be back to normal within 3 months. That said, it could take up to 2 years for more severe cuts to totally heal.

Covered and Uncovered – Do Cuts Need Fresh Air?

Contrary to what you may think, any wounds you might have don’t need constant exposure to fresh air to improve. In fact, moisture is key.

While a cool breeze could bring some relief to a fresh scrape, a permanently uncovered cut runs the risk of drying out. This can then slow down the natural healing process. Often, cuts heal best when they’ve got the moisture they need. Creams such as NEOSPORIN® Original Ointment can help keep your skin hydrated, while BAND-AID® Brand adhesive bandages can help provide a protective cover. BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages are the #1 doctor recommended bandage brand. By keeping a cut clean, moisturized and covered, you can protect fresh skin cells as they grow and reduce the chances of infection.

Taking Care of Cuts and Wounds

While you can’t speed up the healing process, taking proper care of your skin as it repairs itself can ensure that there are no unwanted delays. A proper first-aid kit is always useful, and it should contain everything you need to protect cuts from infection. Follow our simple guide to boost your healing process:

  • Clean the Immediate Area
    • Whether it’s from a fall outside or an accident in the kitchen, one of the best things you can do is clean your cuts. This is because dirt and debris can slow down the healing process, and can even prevent your skin from repairing itself. Start by flushing the area with water and mild soap. BAND-AID® Brand Antiseptic Wash* can help provide a sterile alternative that’s great for cleaning cuts and scrapes (while helping with pain and discomfort). Then, let the area around the cut dry. (*Suitable for adults and children aged 2 years and older.)
  • Use Topical Antibiotics to Prevent Infection
    • An infected cut can lead to further complications and slow down the healing process. If you need something to treat an infection, NEOSPORIN is the brand of topical antibiotics most recommended by doctors in the U.S. NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar can provide infection protection 24 hours a day while minimizing the appearance of scars.
  • Cover Your Wound or Cut
    • Keeping your cut covered is an essential part of creating a moist environment, something that’s key to fast healing while protecting the wound from dirt and external germs. BAND-AID® Brand SKIN-FLEX® Bandages are a great example of bandages you can use to keep a scrape covered until it’s fully healed.
  • Remember to Change Your Bandage Regularly
    • Bandages should be replaced daily, or even sooner if they risk becoming soaked with blood, pus or other fluids. It’s important to keep the area clean to help prevent infections. You should also keep your cut covered for the length of time it takes to heal. Because everyone is different, changing your bandage daily can help you keep track of your healing progress.


  • Why Aren’t My Cuts Healing Quickly?
    • There are various reasons why the healing process could be slower for certain people. In older individuals, a lower count of stem cells and growth factors means cuts may take longer to repair. If someone also has a long-term illness or they’re malnourished, healing may be slower.
  • How Can I Tell If My Wound’s Infected?
    • Rather than improving in appearance and hurting less as time goes on, infected cuts may become swollen, discolored and more painful. They might feel unusuallywarm when you touch them, too. These may be signs of infection, so be sure to seek medical advice if you’re concerned.
  • How Do I Heal an Open Wound?
    • If your cut is especially deep, you should seek medical advice since you may need stitches. These can help hold your skin together as it heals.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.