A new healing drug can reduce scarring after surgery or injury, say UK researchers.
At the site of the wound before and after an incision, the drug, a synthetic cell- signalling agent, is injected under the skin.
To reach the conclusion, researchers conducted three trials of the treatment on groups of volunteers who willingly suffered centimetre-wide puncture wounds in their arms. The incisions were deep enough to penetrate through the skin to underlying muscle, reports The Scotsman.
Different amount of doses of the drug avotermin, an artificial form of TGFbeta3, were injected at the wound site both before and 24 hours after the incisions were made.
Scarring appearance was assessed using a 100-point scale. Trial participants were split into two groups, one receiving the anti-scarring therapy and the other a dummy treatment.
In two trials, lower doses of the drug improved scarring appearance by up to eight points after 12 months. A third trial using higher doses resulted in improvements of as much as 64 points on the visual assessment scale.
Professor Mark Ferguson, from the University of Manchester, and colleagues wrote in The Lancet medical journal: "We detected substantial differences in collagen organisation in some participants, with avotermin-treated scars more closely resembling the basket-weave pattern of normal skin."