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Skin in a Can Offers Quick Healing Time for Ulcers

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It is amazing to think of the advances in medical technology, but have you ever heard of skin in a can? Well, it exists and a new medical study says that it is better at healing skin ulcers than standard care procedures. Skin in a can is exactly that–it contains living skin cells called keratinocytes and fibroblasts, which interact with a patient's skin cells to promote wound healing and skin regeneration.

About 2.5 million Americans suffer from a particular type of skin ulcer related to poor circulation in the legs. Because of damaged veins or valves, the circulation becomes so poor that ulcers develop on the legs that are very slow to heal and can be very painful. Eventually, because the ulcers will not heal, they become a chronic and debilitating condition. Americans age 65 or older are the group most affected by ulcers. Standard care for ulcers commonly involves infection control, dressings, and high-strength compression to improve circulation to the affected area. Sometimes skin grafts are used, which are helpful in healing the ulcer, but can create a secondary wound.

The effectiveness of the spray-on-skin was tested on 228 patients with this type of skin ulcer at 28 locations across the U.S. and Canada, where one group received one of two treatment doses and the other group received a control treatment. Success of spray-on-skin was determined by whether or not the ulcer's area was reduced by the end of a 12 week period. Overall, the researchers found that ulcers were greatly reduced by the spray-on-skin compared to the control treatment. Reactions to the spray-on-skin included skin ulcers, cellulitis, wound infection, and skin irritation but these adverse outcomes were similar for both groups.