Diabetes Drug May Help Skin Scars

A new study lead by Dr. Michael Longaker, co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University may have insight into improving and preventing skin scars.


The researchers claim that they have figured out the molecular steps that occur creating a scar and they have discovered a way to stop scars from forming. The discoveries were initially made during Longaker’s training as a plastic surgeon where he discovered that fetuses while still in the womb did not scar and the incisions made by surgeons would disappear without any trace.


In the study, the team looked at two types of fibroblasts. One type works in wound healing and also causes the formation of tumors. When the cells were treated with diphtheria toxin, the animals ended up with less scarring.  The researchers then decided to try a drug for Type 2 diabetes that inhibits the work of these fibroblasts. As a result, when the drug was tried in mice, the drug reduced the amount of scarring but did not cause any damage to the skin that had been wounded.


Developments are needed with regards to the issue of scarring as the number of operations that take place in the United States each year is more than 80 million. The major of these operations result in scarring for the patients.

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