12th May 2021
Vitamin C for Wound Healing: Does It Really Help?Dr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Whether it’s from a fall or a recent surgery, the recovery time for wounds can take place over a few months, even years. Without proper treatment and care, these wounds become infected and lead to more inconveniences in our daily life.
Then came the discovery of vitamin C for wound healing. Vitamin C is commonly known to help with iron deficiency, bone strength and more. The idea that vitamin C could speed up our body’s natural healing process seemed too good to be true. However, after years of research and clinical studies, researchers found that vitamin C can quicken the process of wound healing.
Below, we will review the 4 wound healing stages, cover the benefit of vitamin C, and explain how vitamin C may help with 3 out of 4 of the healing stages.
Steps to Wound Healing and Surgery Recovery
Any cut to our skin automatically signals our brain to begin healing the wound. Here’s what each stage of wound healing looks like:
Hemostasis Phase - Prevents blood loss through the formation of blood clots, constricting blood vessels, etc.
Inflammatory Phase - Destroys bacteria on wounded sites to prevent infections.
Proliferative Phase - Initial repairing phase of the skin where new blood vessels and tissues form.
Maturation Phase - Continuation of skin repair and the focus is on strengthening the skin.
As mentioned before, the time it takes for a wound to completely heal varies. For example, surgical wounds often take quicker to heal (2-3 months) because surgeons close wounds with staples or sutures. Then again, the length of time depends on the type of surgery you had, as well as your overall health.
Surgeons often provide an extensive list of precautions to take to prevent infections to the wounded area. This is because infections drastically delay the wound healing process.
The Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin you find in foods or as a dietary supplement. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, so we have to rely on external sources for it.
Vitamin C has extraordinary properties that assist at all levels of wound healing. From preventing infections to helping the skin rebuild itself, vitamin C provides the benefits needed to accelerate wound recovery.
Vitamin C for Wound Healing
Vitamin C wound healing is popular because vitamin C assists in 3 out of the 4 stages of wound healing, making it extremely effective. Here's what it does in each of those stages.
In healing stage 2 (inflammatory phase)
Vitamin C is required for an immune response also known as neutrophil apoptosis. As soon as you get a wound, our bodies release neutrophils to the wounded area, which is a cell that is responsible for killing bacteria. Neutrophils ultimately prevent infections from occurring.
However, our bodies cannot have too many neutrophils. As such, some of these cells undergo apoptosis after, where they automatically die off.
In healing stage 3 (proliferative phase)
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis, secretion and breaking down of collagen. Collagen is a family of proteins that are the main component in our skin. It’s the building blocks and glue that keep our skin cells together. For our bodies to create collagen, vitamin C must be present for collagen to form.
In healing stage 4 (maturation phase)
The body needs vitamin C readily available as the skin continues to repair itself. While the amount of vitamin C needed is not as high as in stage 3, it's still required for the production of continuous production of collagen.
Does Vitamin C help with wound healing?
Based on the information and research studies available, vitamin C does seem to boost wound healing. In a study done on patients suffering from wound burns, researchers found that topical application of vitamin C improved the burn in comparison to those who didn’t use it.
Many plastic surgeons also recommend their patients to consume vitamin C after a breast augmentation of any form of surgery. Surgeons find that it helps quicken the wound healing process.
The existing literature points to something profound – vitamin C can very much help with wound recovery. While more research is needed, the current evidence highlights the benefits of vitamin C wound healing.
How To Get the Recommended Dose of Vitamin C for Wound Healing?
Vitamin C is not the only useful vitamin when recovering from wounds. Vitamins and minerals like bromelain, l-glutamine, l-arginine, and zinc, also play a role in different stages of wound healing. These vitamins either help with preventing blood loss and infections or boosting skin production.
With a supplement like WoundVite, it has the recommended 500 mg dose of vitamin C along with an extensive list of vitamins and nutrients that aid in wound healing (such as the ones we mentioned above). As always, check with your doctor to ensure it's safe to use.
As such, if you're looking for a one-step process to get everything you need for quicker wound healing, WoundVite has all the nutrients you need for a speedy recovery.