Collagen: The Wound Healing Hero

Published in Member Communities on August 17, 2023

CollagenBy Heather Trumm, Director, VGM Wound Care

As HME providers, it is important to remain educated on all aspects of wound care to enhance the level of service to your customers. 

An area of wound care that may not be as familiar to providers is collagen and how it impacts wound healing. 

What is Collagen? 

Collagen is the protein that gives our skin its tensile strength, which is defined as the maximum stress that a material can bear before breaking when it’s allowed to be stretched or pulled. Collagen is also the major protein found in the dermis (or second layer of our skin) and is in our bones, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. It also plays a very important role in tissue repair.   

Collagen not only gives our skin strength, but it’s also vital in the wound healing process. Collagen formation follows an established process and must undergo a series of steps before it’s secreted into the extracellular matrix (otherwise known as the “basement layer” of our dermis). 

Collagen and Wound Healing 

What does collagen do in conjunction with our skin to help heal chronic wounds? Collagen helps the chronic wound heal by stimulating the collagen fibers for new blood vessels and tissue growth. 

Chronic wounds get stuck in the inflammatory phase of wound healing due to the co-morbidities of the person. Many times, a non-healing or chronic wound will contain high levels of proteases MMPs and elastase. There may also be low levels of good proliferating cells and growth factors which delay the healing process.  

Collagen helps tackle the high levels of proteases MMPs and elastase to push the wound out of the chronic inflammatory phase into the proliferation phase. To effectively heal the wounds in all phases of wound healing, we want to look at a collagen product that addresses both types of proteases - the MMP and the elastase.   

Collagen and wound healing go hand-in-hand, and that is why it is important for HME providers to be informed on this aspect of wound care to be able to provide the best solutions and services to their customers. 

There are many types of collagens on the market so to get the most for the collagen being used, make sure it’s an all-encompassing one. 

For more information, please contact me at heather.trumm@vgm.com.  


TAGS

  1. hme
  2. vgm
  3. wound care

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