May 26, 2022

Why skin lacerations can be slow to heal, even with topical antibiotics – Beaufort South Carolina The Island News

When you have a cut, scrape, or other minor skin laceration, doctors recommend that you take steps to make sure the wound doesn’t get infected and heal properly. Many people choose to use over-the-counter medications, such as topical antibiotic ointments and fluids, to aid the repair process and, as is commonly believed, to promote healthy skin healing.

In an effort to put this theory to the test, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine recently examined whether or not skin regeneration is affected when topical ointments are introduced to the site of a wound.

In their study, which appeared April 1, 2021 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the researchers suggest that these over-the-counter drugs may not be the healers we think they are.

The natural environmental factors that enhance skin regeneration are largely unknown. Although our immune system and the non-pathogenic microorganisms living in our bodies play an essential role in repairing and regenerating our skin structure, the precise interaction between the two is not clear.

In a small trial involving six adults over a 10-month period, researchers wanted to see if bacteria made a difference in wound healing. Participants either applied or did not apply a topical broad-spectrum antibiotic after each skin injury they received. To the researchers’ surprise, the majority of antibiotic users experienced a slower recovery. Additionally, in a concurrent study in mice, antibiotics prevented hair follicle regeneration after injury.

“We have tested many conditions where there was less or more bacteria present during wound healing, for example after the use of antibiotics. We found that as a rule, normal levels of bacteria – and even bacterial infections that the body could fight off – would actually improve healing, ”says lead author of the study, Luis Garza, MD, Ph. .D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins. University School of Medicine.

“If further research supports the conclusion of this study – that common over-the-counter antibiotic treatments slow down the healing process – then maybe people will need to reconsider their use of these products,” Garza said.

Source: topical antibiotics

Exclusive content from CARE magazine