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Daytime injuries heal twice as fast as wounds sustained at night.

The complex influence of circadian rhythms affects many body issues including skin lacerations and burns! Circadian rhythms, our internal body clock, regulates nearly every cell within our body and drives processes such as sleep, metabolism and hormone secretion.

Cambridge researchers have recently discovered that our internal body clocks regulate wound healing by skin cells to optimize repairs during the day. So if you are going to get injured or need an operation try to do it during the day as wounds seem to heal twice as fast during these hours.

Skin cells called fibroblasts are essential for wound healing and have been shown to have time keeping abilities. Following a cut to the skin fibroblasts rush to the wound and secrete a meshwork which help the skin cells rush into place, grow and heal the injury.

The fibroblasts help to close up a wound after injury and some of the genes within the fibroblasts help in this action. The research has shown that daytime wounds and burns can heal up to 60% faster. It maybe that healing time could be improved by resetting the cells’ clock prior to surgery, perhaps by applying drugs that can reset the biological clock to the best healing time. A key reason for this faster healing is that skin cells move to the wound site much faster during the body clocks daytime. Within the cells themselves this is driven by an increase activity of proteins, especially actin, in cell movement and repair. The actin provides a scaffold and acts like muscle within the cell. In the daytime there is also more collagen which is the main structural protein at the wound site.

So the key message is try not to injure your skin in the evening hours!



Science Translational Medicine Journal