A spray-on skin that coats the wound with a layer of skin may reduce the healing time of the patients who suffer from chronic leg ulcer, found researchers from Healthpoint Biotherapeutics in Fort Worth, Texas, US. The treatment consists of skin cells dangled in blood clotting proteins which is sprayed on the wound.
Venous leg ulcers, the most common type of leg ulcer, affect about one in five hundred people all over the world. The wounds develop when high blood pressure in the veins of the legs damages the skin, causing it to break down. Obese individuals, people with restricted movement and those with varicose veins, face higher risk of developing venous leg ulcers.
Standard treatment for leg ulcer consists of compression bandages, infection control and wound dressings. But these treatment only heals between thirty and seventy percent of ulcers. Other alternatives include taking skin from other site of the body and grafting it over the wound. However, this results in a further wound at the site from which the transplanted skin is taken.
Instead the spray-on skin puts a coating of donated skin cells and blood-clotting proteins over the ulcer. The spray was tested on nearly two hundred and thirty individuals with leg ulcers that can last for months. The spray accelerated healing and improved the chances of wound closure. Those receiving the most effective dosage were fifty-two percent more likely to see their ulcer clear up after three months.
Besides, they also experienced a sixteen percent greater diminution in wound area after seven days. In addition, the treatment helped wounds to close twenty days earlier. Dr Herbert Slade, one of the study authors, explained the treatment we tested in this study has the potential to vastly improve recovery times and overall recovery from leg ulcers without the need for a skin graft.
The spray-on solution can be available as soon as required – skin grafts take a certain amount of time to prepare, which exposes the patient to further discomfort and risk of infection, added Dr Slade. The study findings are published in The Lancet medical journal. The latest study mainly tested the safety of the spray and the best dose to use. Further studies will decide if it is a practical treatment for leg ulcers.