Pain and the healing wound

  • Alan David Widgerow University of the Witwatersrand
  • Shana Kalaria Penn State College of Medicine


Breaching the skin surface causes pain. Pain evolves via central interpretation of signalling mediators released following a peripheral stimulus. Short-term release of these mediators may aid in wound healing, but extended release may well have detrimental effects thereon. The longer the pain is endured, the more sensitive the patient becomes to the pain stimuli. Additionally, inflammation is increased which delays healing, and fibrosis can result in exaggerated scarring. Thus, while pain control is obviously sought based on compassionate grounds, its impact on healing and scarring may be added reasons to avoid protraction of its occurrence.

Author Biographies

Alan David Widgerow, University of the Witwatersrand
MBBCh; FCS (Plast); MMed (Wits); FACS Emeritus Professor Department of Plastic Surgery University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg South Africa and Irvine CA, USA
Shana Kalaria, Penn State College of Medicine
BS-UCLA; MD Candidate (Year III) Penn State College of Medicine
Wound Care