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How the Immune System Works to Heal Injury

How the Immune System Works to Heal Injury

A strong immune system is essential for all healing, including injury or damaged tissue due to trauma, surgery or illness. Understanding how this intricate system works can deepen our understanding of the process of recovery.

Step 1: Recognition of Injury

When cells are damaged, they release chemical signals that alert the immune system of the problem.

Step 2: Inflammatory Response

The next stage involves inflammation. When the immune system recognizes an injury, white blood cells are released to the area. These cells help fight infection and remove damaged tissue. Inflammation is responsible for the swelling, redness, and warmth typically associated with an injury.

While it may be uncomfortable, these are signs that the healing process is normal. On the other hand, excess inflammation is a major culprit in the dysregulation of normal wound healing. Limiting excess inflammation also effectively reduces scar tissue. A healthy immune system will keep excess inflammation under control.

Step 3: Removal of Damaged Tissue

Once the immune system identifies the injury and inflammation takes place, white blood cells, called macrophages, are released. They engulf and digest dead cells at the injury site.

Step 4: Tissue Regeneration

The immune system is responsible for tissue regeneration, the process of restoring normal function after an injury. Fibroblasts produce collagen, a protein that provides structural support to the new tissue at the injury site. Although humans may regenerate tissue to a certain extent, the process is not ideal and can result in the production of scars. The immune system is a key player throughout the injury and wound healing process and the extent of scar formation.

There are many different ways to help boost your immune system. Call or text Diane Bousquin or book an appointment online for an evaluation and treatment options.