Arthroscopic wounds are small and leave minimal scarring, but they’re still scars. Your skin heals itself from within, long before any topical solutions go to work. This is why it’s critical to get certain nutrients into your body to help improve your skin health after surgery.

While all vitamins and minerals are important, these three are crucial for getting those small wounds to heal and minimize any scarring.

Vitamin C for Healing Arthroscopic Surgical Wounds

Vitamin C’s only job isn’t boosting your immune system. It goes much further when it comes to keeping you healthy and helping wounds heal. Vitamin C starts the biochemical process in which collagen is created. Collagen is a part of connective tissues, which are abundant in your skin. Adequate collagen levels help wounds heal quickly and get your skin back to normal. Your recommended intake — established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine — is 90 milligrams daily if you are male. If you are female, you need just 75 milligrams per day.

Selected Food Sources:

  • Red peppers, sliced: 95 milligrams per 1/2 cup
  • Orange juice: 93 milligrams per 6 ounces
  • Kiwi: 64 milligrams each
  • Broccoli, steamed: 51 milligrams per 1/2 cup
  • Strawberries, sliced: 49 milligrams per 1/2 cup
  • Cantaloupe, cubed: 29 milligrams per 1/2 cup

Zinc for Healing Arthroscopic Surgical Wounds

Zinc activates roughly 100 different enzymes in your body, the Office of Dietary Supplements explains. Some of these enzymes get activated when you have a wound. It’s zinc’s job to make these enzymes heal your skin as fast as possible. Low zinc levels are actually linked with delayed healing of wounds. Get your skin back to normal by meeting your recommendation: 11 milligrams a day for men and 8 milligrams a day for women.

Selected Food Sources:

  • Beef chuck, braised: 7 milligrams per 3 ounces
  • Pork loin chop, cooked: 2.9 milligrams per 3 ounces
  • Chicken, dark, cooked: 2.4 milligrams per 3 ounces
  • Yogurt, low-fat: 1.7 milligrams per 8 ounces
  • Cashews, roasted: 1.6 milligrams per ounce
  • Oatmeal, instant: 1.1 milligrams per packet

Vitamin D for Healing Arthroscopic Surgical Wounds

Vitamin D does more than just keep your bones strong. As an alternative role, vitamin D stimulates a gene that’s responsible for stopping the inflammation cascade. So when you have enough vitamin D in your body, inflammation from your surgical site should go down, allowing you to heal efficiently. Both men and women need 600 international units daily, which increases to 800 international units after age 70.

Selected Food Sources:

  • Swordfish, cooked: 566 international units per 3 ounces
  • Sockeye salmon, cooked: 447 international units per 3 ounces
  • Tuna, canned in water: 154 international units per 3 ounces
  • Fortified milk: 115 to 124 international units per 8 ounces
  • Egg, whole: 41 international units per egg
  • Fortified breakfast cereal: up to 40 international units per 3/4 to 1-cup serving

For more advice on what nutrients you should consume after arthroscopic surgery, contact a clinic like Framingham Orthopedic Associates. Your intake levels may be different based on your typical diet and lifestyle.