The physiologic mechanism causing the wound to become red, hot, and swollen is an acute inflammatory response, which is triggered by tissue injury and is essential for healing (Braun & Anderson, 2017). Tissue injury requires a response at the level of the blood vessel near the injury, so clotting can occur. Attracting the sufficient number of clotting factors and healing factors to the site of the injury to help prevent infection is key (Braun & Anderson, 2017).
When tissue is injured inflammatory mediators, such as mast cells and cytokines are produced and released, the mast cells identify the injury when this happens a chain of events occurs. The body releases a signal to start and stop this process. The inflammatory mediators also increase the permeability of the narrow vessels, so that more defense cells can enter the affected tissue. The defense cells also carry more fluid into the inflamed tissue, which is why it often swells up. After this fluid is transported out of the tissue once again a while later and the swelling disappears again (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare, 2015). The termination of inflammation is an active process involving cytokines and other anti-inflammatory mediators, particularly lipids, rather than simply being the switching off of pro-inflammatory pathways (Minihane et.al., 2015).
Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen, Torodol, Celebrex, or Aspirin may help. Aspirin inhibits the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandins and helps suppress inflammation (Braun & Anderson, 2017). Ibuprophen inhibits the anti-inflammatory conversion and glucocorticoids, such as Prednisone, inhibit the synthesis of chemical mediators. Each medication has it’s own risks and benefits in the inflammation and healing process. The important part is being able to prevent infection after an injury.
Braun, C. A., & Anderson, C. M. (2017). Applied Pathophysiology: A Conceptual Approach to the Mechanisms of Disease. Philidelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care). (2015). What is an inflammation? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072482/#i2137.gi-sources
Minihane, A. M., Vinoy, S., Russell, W. R., Baka, A., Roche, H. M., Tuohy, K. M., … Calder, P. C. (2015). Low-grade inflammation, diet composition and health: current research evidence and its translation. The British Journal of Nutrition, 114(7), 999–1012. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114515002093
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