Wound Healing and the Immune System

— You’re walking on the sidewalk and you come across a patch of ice. You don’t see it coming, so you lose your balance and fall hard on the ground with your elbow bearing the brunt of the impact. Although you get right back up, a tremendous bleeding scrape on your elbow remains – an unwanted “souvenir” from the dastardly ice patch. With, some quick first-aid, you patch the wound to prevent infection, and about two to three weeks later you forget about the scrape as it resolves itself. A puzzling question from this common scenario is how does this wound (or any wound for that matter) heal? The answer is that it involves a complex process that is not completely understood. This process coordinates numerous types of cells (originating from various locations in the body) to affect the healing response. In this article we’ll delve a little deeper into what’s known about this amazing process, focusing specifically on skin and how the immune system is involved in wound sterilization and tissue repair.