Spontaneous healing and scar control following enzymatic debridement of deep second-degree burns.
Scarring after a burn injury remains the greatest unmet challenge in the treatment of functional and psychosocial sequelae of burns. The hypertrophic scar represents the most common type of cicatrix after burns, and it has a prevalence of up to 70%. We present a case of upper and lower extremity partial-thickness burns in a female patient treated in two different modalities. Superficial seconddegree burns on the upper extremities were treated with conservative dressing with fairly early wound closure but they developed hypertrophic scars. Deeper, lower extremity burns were debrided with a new bromelain-based debriding agent, resulting in scar-free healing. The pathophysiology of hypertrophic scar formation is based on the perturbation of collagen production or degradation or both. The duration and magnitude of the inflammatory phase of wound healing also appears to play a role in hypertrophic scarring. Bromelain has demonstrated an anti-angiogenic effect in various cancer cell lines and it has been shown to regulate a variety of pro-angiogenic growth factors. This case raises the classical question of the relationship between time to healing and formation of hypertrophic scars after burn injury, pointing to other potential factors that may play an important role in burn healing.
Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2017 Dec 31;30(4):313-316.