A spray that can cover a wound with a layer of skin cells has been tested by US
and Canadian researchers and the results of their study have been published in
The new "spray on skin" was
tested on 228 people who had leg ulcers. The study showed that the wounds
healed better and faster, in those who were treated with the spray. It has been
proposed that, despite its cost, the spray could actually reduce treatment
Leg ulcers are painful open
wounds that are hard to treat and take months to heal. They are caused when
high blood pressure in the leg veins damages the skin leading to its break
down, resulting in an open wound. When the wound is dressed it may provide
relief, but only for a short while. If the underlying condition remains unaddressed,
the wound is likely to open again!
Up until now, compression
bandages have been considered as the best mode of treatment for leg ulcers but,
sadly, they are able to heal only 70% of the wounds, and that too after a
period of six months.
The other effective treatment
option is to perform a skin graft, which includes taking skin from another part
of the body and grafting it over the wounded part. Now, instead of the skin
graft the new spray can actually put a layer of donated skin cells and proteins
(that aid in blood clotting) over the ulcerous wound.
While carrying out the study it
was found that patients on whom the spray was applied every 14 days displayed
the biggest improvement. In these patients, the size of the wound was seen to
reduce rapidly as soon as the treatment began. Among patients in whom the spray
was used, 70% were healed after three months compared to the 46% who received
other modes of treatments.
According to one of the
scientists involved in this study, the skin spray has the potential to shorten
recovery times and the overall recovery rate without the need for a skin graft.
This avoids the need for a fresh wound to be formed, as it happens in case of a
graft. Also, the spray-on skin solution is made available on demand. The risk of
infection that is present in case of graft can also be avoided when skin sprays
The present study mostly concentrated on the
safety of the spray and the optimal dose to be used. Treating leg ulcers is
complex, and studies must establish the cost effectiveness of any treatment
while refraining from providing false expectations to patients. It is important
to establish the practicality of applying the skin spray in treating leg
ulcers. Meanwhile, compression would be the main treatment for leg ulcers.