To date, treatment of atrophic acne scars remains a therapeutic challenge for dermatologists, yet there is no standard option on the most effective treatment. Microneedling (MN) is a minimally invasive technology that involves repetitive skin puncture using sterile microneedles to disrupt dermal collagen that connects the scar tissue. Recent studies have demonstrated the potency of MN, such as dermaroller and fractionated microneedle radiofrequency, in the treatment of atrophic scars. The objective of this review is to evaluate systematically the current literature on MN for atrophic acne scars. A systematic search of literature was performed from PubMed, Medline, Cochrane Central, and Google Scholar databases for articles published during the last 20 years. Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with full‐text version of the manuscript available were included in our study. Nine RCTs were included in this review. All treatment modalities demonstrated consistent results that MN was efficacious in treating atrophic acne scars as a monotherapy or in combination with other treatments. Moreover, no serious adverse effects were reported in all studies after MN treatment. MN is a well‐tolerated and effective therapeutic modality in treating atrophic acne scars. Further research is required to validate the efficacy of MN with a larger sample size and lengthy follow‐up.
Benzalkonium bromide (BB) has been widely used as a skin antiseptic for wound management. However, BB had proinflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) induction effect, making its role in wound healing complex and unclear. A rat full‐thickness skin defect wound model was established. The effects of BB, povidone iodine (PVP‐I), chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG), and normal saline (NS) on wound healing and infection control were then evaluated based on wound healing rate (WHr) and bacterial killing. The wound tissues were sectioned for histopathological evaluation and nuclear factor E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression determination. The ROS production, Nrf2 activation, and heme oxygenase 1 (HO‐1) expression of the HaCat cells and the cytotoxicity treated with BB were further explored. Compared with NS, PVP‐I, and CHG, BB showed the best wound infection control efficiency while delayed wound healing with the WHr of 91.42 ± 5.12% at day 20. The wound tissue of the BB group showed many inflammatory cells but few granulation tissue and capillaries and no obvious collagen deposition, resulting in the lowest histopathological scores of 4.17 ± 0.75 for BB group. BB showed higher cytotoxicity on HaCat cells with the lowest IC25, IC50, and IC75 of 1.90, 4.16, and 9.09 g/mL compared with PVP‐I and CHG. TUNEL staining evaluated the cytotoxicity of BB on wound tissue, which indicates the high apoptosis index BB group (5.05 ± 1.77). Compared with PVP‐I and CHG, BB induced much more cell apoptosis. The results of flow cytometry and fluorescence staining showed that PVP‐I, CHG, and BB induced ROS production in a concentration‐dependent manner and cells treated with BB had the highest ROS production at the same inhibition concentration. The cells and the wound tissues treated with BB showed highest Nrf2 activation and HO‐1 expression than PVP‐I and CHG. BB was highly efficient in wound infection control while delayed wound healing. The prolonged and strengthened inflammation and the raised ROS production originating from BB administration may contribute to delayed wound healing.
Since the outbreak of COVID‐19 pandemic, clinicians have had to use personal protective equipment (PPE) for prolonged periods. This has been associated with detrimental effects, especially in relation to the skin health. The present study describes a comprehensive survey of healthcare workers (HCWs) to describe their experiences using PPE in managing COVID‐19 patients, with a particular focus on adverse skin reactions. A 24‐hour prevalence study and multi‐centre prospective survey were designed to capture the impact of PPE on skin health of hospital staff. Questionnaires incorporated demographics of participants, PPE type, usage time, and removal frequency. Participants reported the nature and location of any corresponding adverse skin reactions. The prevalence study included all staff in intensive care from a single centre, while the prospective study used a convenience sample of staff from three acute care providers in the United Kingdom. A total of 108 staff were recruited into the prevalence study, while 307 HCWs from a variety of professional backgrounds and demographics participated in the prospective study. Various skin adverse reactions were reported for the prevalence study, with the bridge of the nose (69%) and ears (30%) being the most affected. Of the six adverse skin reactions recorded for the prospective study, the most common were redness blanching (33%), itchiness (22%), and pressure damage (12%). These occurred predominantly at the bridge of the nose and the ears. There were significant associations (P < .05) between the adverse skin reactions with both the average daily time of PPE usage and the frequency of PPE relief. The comprehensive study revealed that the use of PPE leads to an array of skin reactions at various facial locations of HCWs. Improvements in guidelines are required for PPE usage to protect skin health. In addition, modifications to PPE designs are required to accommodate a range of face shapes and appropriate materials to improve device safety.
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) present a substantial clinical and economic burden to healthcare systems around the world, with significant reductions in quality of life for those affected. We aimed to analyse the clinical and economic burden of DFU via a 5‐year longitudinal multi‐ethnic cohort study. A longitudinal analysis of inpatient and outpatient DFUs data over 5 years from a university tertiary hospital in Singapore was performed. Data included baseline characteristics, clinical outcomes, hospitalisation, and outpatient details. Descriptive statistics, Kaplan–Meier survival analyses, and Cox proportional hazard models were performed. Patients treated for DFUs (n = 1729, mean patient age of 63·4 years) were assessed. The cohort consists of Chinese (61.4%), Malay (13.5%), and Indian (18.4%) patients. Common comorbidities included peripheral arterial disease (74.8%), peripheral neuropathy (14.5%), and a median haemoglobin A1c of 9.9%. Patients underwent toe(s) amputation (36.4%), transmetatarsal amputations (16.9%), or major amputations (6·5%). The mean length of inpatient stay for ulcer‐only, minor amputation, and major amputation was 13.3, 20.5, and 59.6 days, respectively. Mean cost per patient‐year was US $3368 (ulcer‐only), US $10468 (minor amputation), and US $30131 (major amputation). Minor amputation‐free survival was 80.9% at 1 year and 56.9% at 5 years, while major amputation‐free survival was 97.4% at 1 year and 91.0% at 5 years. In conclusion, within our multi‐ethnic cohort of patients from the tropics, there was significant clinical and economic burden of DFUs, with a high wound per patient ratio and escalating healthcare costs corresponding to more proximal amputation levels.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important pathogen causing hospital‐acquired infections in human beings. Samples from suspected patients of K pneumoniae associated with respiratory and urinary tract infections were collected at Bolan Medical Complex, Quetta, Balochistan. Clinical samples (n = 107) of urine and sputum were collected and processed for K pneumoniae isolation using selective culture media. Initially, 30 of 107 isolates resembling Klebsiella spp. were processed for biochemical profiling and molecular detection using gyrase A (gyrA) gene for conformation. The K pneumoniae isolates were analysed for the presence of drug resistance and virulence genes in their genomes. The 21 of 107 (19.6%) isolates were finally confirmed as K pneumoniae pathogens. An antibiogram study conducted against 17 different antibiotics showed that a majority of the isolates are multidrug resistant. All the isolates (100%) were resistant to amoxicillin, cefixime, amoxicillin‐clavulanic acid, cefotaxime, and ceftriaxone followed by tetracycline (95.2%), ciprofloxacin and gentamicin (76.2%), sulphamethoxazol (66.7%), nalidixic acid (61.9%), norfloxacine (42.9%), piperacillin‐tazobactam (23.8%), cefoperazone‐sulbactam (19%), and cefotaxime‐clavulanic acid (33.3%), whereas all the isolates showed sensitivity to amikacin, chloramphenicol, and imipenem. The presence of tetracycline, sulphamethoxazol‐resistant genes, and extended‐spectrum beta‐lactamase was reconfirmed using different specific genes. The presence of virulence genes fimH1 and EntB responsible for adherence and enterobactin production was confirmed in the isolates. The high virulence and drug resistance potential of these Klebsiella isolates are of high public health concern. Multidrug resistance and virulence potential in K. pneumoniae are converting these nosocomial pathogens into superbugs and making its management harder.
This proof‐of‐concept study sought to determine the effects of standard of care (SOC) and a topically applied concentrated surfactant gel (SG) on the total microbial load, community composition, and community diversity in non‐healing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) with chronic biofilm infections. SOC was provided in addition to a topical concentrated SG, applied every 2 days for 6 weeks. Wound swabs were obtained from the base of ulcers at baseline (week 0), week 1, mid‐point (week 3), and end of treatment (week 6). DNA sequencing and real‐time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were employed to determine the total microbial load, community composition, and diversity of patient samples. Tissue specimens were obtained at baseline and scanning electron microscopy and peptide nucleic acid fluorescent in situ hybridisation with confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to confirm the presence of biofilm in all 10 DFUs with suspected chronic biofilm infections. The application of SG resulted in 7 of 10 samples achieving a reduction in mean log10 total microbial load from baseline to end of treatment (0.8 Log10 16S copies, ±0.6), and 3 of 10 samples demonstrated an increase in mean Log10 total microbial load (0.6 log10 16S copies, ±0.8) from baseline to end of treatment. Composition changes in microbial communities were driven by changes to the most dominant bacteria. Corynebacterium sp. and Streptococcus sp. frequently reduced in relative abundance in patient samples from week 0 to week 6 but did not disappear. In contrast, Staphylococcus sp., Finegoldia sp., and Fusobacterium sp., relative abundances frequently increased in patient samples from week 0 to week 6. The application of a concentrated SG resulted in varying shifts to diversity (increase or decrease) between week 0 and week 6 samples at the individual patient level. Any shifts in community diversity were independent to changes in the total microbial loads. SOC and a topical concentrated SG directly affect the microbial loads and community composition of DFUs with chronic biofilm infections.
Chronic wounds are a considerable health burden with high morbidity and poor rates of healing. Colonisation of chronic wounds by bacteria can be a significant factor in their poor healing rate. These bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance over time and can lead to wound infections, systemic illness, and occasionally amputation. When a large number of micro‐organisms colonise wounds, they can lead to biofilm formation, which are self‐perpetuating colonies of bacteria closed within an extracellular matrix, which are poorly penetrated by antibiotics. Platelet‐rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood product rich in growth factors and cytokines that are involved in an inflammatory response. PRP can be injected or applied to a wound as a topical gel, and there is some interest regarding its antimicrobial properties and whether this can improve wound healing. This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro bacteriostatic effect of PRP. PRP was collected from healthy volunteers and processed into two preparations: activated PRP—activated with calcium chloride and ethanol; inactivated PRP. The activity of each preparation against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermis was evaluated against a control by three experiments: bacterial kill assay to assess planktonic bacterial growth; plate colony assay to assess bacterial colony growth; and colony biofilm assay to assess biofilm growth. Compared with control, both preparations of PRP significantly inhibited growth of planktonic S aureus and S epidermis. Activated PRP reduced planktonic bacterial concentration more than inactivated PRP in both bacteria. Both PRP preparations significantly reduced bacterial colony counts for both bacteria when compared with control; however, there was no difference between the two. There was no difference found between biofilm growth in either PRP against control or against the other preparation. This study demonstrates that PRP does have an inhibitory effect on the growth of common wound pathogens. Activation may be an important factor in increasing the antimicrobial effect of PRP. However, we did not find evidence of an effect against more complex bacterial colonies.
The initial care of burn wounds and choice of dressing are pivotal to optimally support the healing process. To ensure fast re‐epithelialisation within 10–14 days and prevent complications, an optimal healing environment is essential. An innovative dressing based on nanocellulose was used for the treatment of burns in children. Children (0–16 years) with clean, partial‐thickness burn wounds, 1 to 10% of the total body surface area were included. Complete re‐epithelialisation was achieved within 7–17 days, with 13 patients showing re‐epithelialised >95% by day 10. Satisfying results concerning time to re‐epithelialisation and material handling were obtained. The possibility to leave the dressing on the wounds for 7 days showed a positive effect in the treatment of children, for whom every hospital visit may cause massive stress reactions. The nanocellulose‐based dressing is a promising tool in conservative treatment of burns. Reducing the frequency of dressing changes supports a fast and undisturbed recovery; moreover, the dressing provides an optimal moist healing environment. The time to re‐epithelialisation is comparable to frequently used materials, and cost reduction effect can be achieved without loss of quality. Possible pain and distress levels are kept to a minimum; therefore, flexibility and compliance of the patients and their parents are enhanced.
Effective cleaning of a wound promotes wound healing and favours wound care as it can prevent and control biofilms. The presence of biofilm is associated with prolonged wound healing, increased wound propensity to infection, and delayed wound closure. Anionic potassium salts of fatty acids are tested with commonly used anionic surfactants, such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulphate/sodium dodecyl sulphate (SLS/SDS). The normal human dermal cells demonstrated significantly greater viability in fatty acid potassium, including caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), lauric acid (C12), oleic acid (C18:1), and linoleic acid (C18:2), than in SLES or SLS after a 24‐hour incubation. Cytotoxicity by LDH assay in a 5‐minute culture in fatty acid potassium was significantly lower than in SLES or SLS. in vitro wound healing of human epidermal keratinocytes during the scratch assay in 24‐hour culture was more significantly improved by fatty acid treatment than by SLES or SLS/SDS. In a live/dead assay of human epidermal keratinocytes, C8K and C18:1K demonstrated only green fluorescence, indicating live cells, whereas synthetic surfactants, SLES and SLS, demonstrated red fluorescence on staining with propidium iodide, indicating dead cells after SLES and SLS/SDS treatment. Potassium salts of fatty acids are useful wound cleaning detergents that do not interfere with wound healing, as observed in the scratch assay using human epidermal keratinocytes. As potassium salts of fatty acids are major components of natural soap, which are produced by natural oil and caustic potash using a saponification method, this may be clinically important in wound and peri‐wound skin cleaning. In human chronic wounds, natural soap containing fatty acid potassium increased tissue blood flow based on laser speckle flowgraphs after 2 weeks (P < .05), in addition to removing the eschars and debris. Wound cleansing by natural soap of fatty acid potassium is beneficial for wound healing.
Patients with chronic wounds are significantly impaired in their health‐related quality of life (HRQoL). The validated Wound‐QoL questionnaire allows assessing the impact of chronic wounds on different aspects of HRQoL including physical, psychological, and everyday life‐related impairments. The aim of our study was to investigate associations of these HRQoL dimensions with age, sex, and particularly wound genesis. In this retrospective, cross‐sectional, multicentre study, Wound‐QoL questionnaires from clinical routine of patients with venous leg ulcers, arterial leg ulcers, mixed leg ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) were evaluated. Effects of wound genesis, sex, and age were assessed with analysis of variance as well as correlation and multiple linear regression analyses. The completed questionnaires of 381 patients (f = 152/m = 229; mean age 68.9) were included. The wound genesis groups showed significantly different distributions of age and sex. We also found significant differences between those groups in everyday life‐related QoL, with the greatest impairments in patients with DFU. Physical QoL scores showed significant differences between men and women depending on diagnosis group: in patients with venous leg ulcers, women had greater impairment of physical QoL than men. Independent of the underlying diagnosis, women had significantly higher scores in the psychological subscale as well as in the Wound‐QoL sum scale. Within the subgroup of arterial leg ulcer patients, overall HRQoL sum score was significantly worse in older patients. Regression analyses supported negative effects of DFU diagnosis and female sex on HRQoL. Our data offer evidence that HRQoL shows clinically relevant differences between patients with chronic wounds of different genesis. Moreover, our data revealed that HRQoL is associated with age and sex, which should be considered when treating the patient groups. In order to be able to capture these important aspects and to offer individualised and patient‐oriented treatments, the Wound‐QoL should be implemented as a quick and uncomplicated standard instrument in daily routine. Patients with chronic wounds are significantly impaired in their health‐related quality of life. Validated Wound‐QoL questionnaire is a quick and easy‐to‐use instrument for daily practice. Wound‐related quality of life shows clinically relevant differences between patients with chronic wounds of different genesis. Wound‐related quality of life is associated with age and sex, which should be considered when treating these patient groups. Health‐related quality of life should be regularly objectified in all patients with chronic wounds with a validated measuring instrument.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of onion extract (OE) gel on scar management, a systematic review was performed by searching Embase, PubMed, Medline, and the Cochrane Library databases, and a meta‐analysis was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses statement guidelines. Finally, 13 randomised controlled trails were enrolled for meta‐analysis. OE gel increased the total improvement scores assessed by investigators (P < .00001) and patients (P < .00001) than no treatment, but no differences were detected between OE gel and other commonly used topical treatments assessed by investigators (P = .56) and patients (P = .39). Moreover, OE in silicone gel increased the total improvement scores assessed by investigators (P < .00001) and patients (P = .0007) than other treatments. OE gel increased the incidence of total adverse effects compared with no treatment (P < .0001) and other treatments (P = .008) by a fixed‐effects model, and increased the incidence of dropping out caused by intolerance of treatments (P = .0002). OE gel not only has no superiority to commonly used topical treatments, but also has the potential to increase the incidence of adverse effects on scar management; OE in silicone gel might be the optimal topical choice for scar treatment; however, more evidences are needed to strength these conclusions.
In this study, it was aimed to investigate the effects of lockdown measures implemented due to COVID‐19 on aetiology, sociodemographic characteristics, and clinical status of burn cases. This study was carried out retrospectively at the Burn Unit of Dicle University Medical Faculty Hospital. The burn cases during the COVID‐19 outbreak were compared with those of the previous 2 years. Statistical analyses were carried out using the IBM SPSS (Statistics Package for Social Sciences) Statistics 25. Descriptive statistics, independent samples t‐test, Kolmogorov‐Smirnov test, and Shapiro‐Wilk test were used for data evaluation. Results were evaluated at 95% confidence interval and P < .05 significance level. It was determined that burn cases were reduced by half during the COVID‐19 compared to the previous 2 years. Despite the increase in the number of third‐degree burns and surgeries, it was determined that the length of hospital stay decreased by an average of two thirds. Hot liquids have been identified as the most important cause of burns in all years. New studies should be conducted in order to examine the social dimension of COVID‐19 pandemic in burn cases and to prevent these cases completely. The short hospital stay preferred by clinicians after COVID‐19 and possible problems that may arise should be investigated.
Surgical site infections (SSI) substantially increase costs for healthcare providers because of additional treatments and extended patient recovery. The objective of this study was to assess the cost and health‐related quality of life impact of SSI, from the perspective of a large teaching hospital in England. Data were available for 144 participants undergoing clean or clean‐contaminated vascular surgery. SSI development, length of hospital stay, readmission, and antibiotic use were recorded over a 30‐day period. Patient‐reported EQ‐5D scores were obtained at baseline, day 7 and day 30. Linear regressions were used to control for confounding variables. A mean SSI‐associated length of stay of 9.72 days resulted in an additional cost of £3776 per patient (including a mean antibiotic cost of £532). Adjusting for age, smoking status, and procedure type, SSI was associated with a 92% increase in length of stay (P < 0.001). The adjusted episode cost was £3040. SSI reduced patient utility between baseline and day 30 by 0.156 (P = 0.236). Readmission rates were higher with SSI (P = 0.017), and the rate to return to work within 90 days was lower. Therefore, strategies to reduce the risk of surgical site infection for high‐risk vascular patients should be investigated.
Perineal wound complications after APR have high morbidity in the colorectal surgical department. Although some approaches have been figured out to solve this clinical focus, the outcomes are still not satisfied. Herein, this prospective comparative clinical trial has been designed to evaluate a new surgical procedure of direct perineal wound full‐thick closure (DPWC), compared with conventional perineal wound closure (CPWC), with hopes of making wound healing with less complications. In addition, an evaluation of an incision negative wound pressure therapy, as another focus in this field, was also analysed in the DPWC group. A total of 44 participants in our department were recruited from March 2018 to March 2020, divided into two groups randomly, CPWC group and DPWC group. The patients' characteristics, such as age, gender, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, comorbidities, CEA level, and high‐risk of invasion, were recorded without statistical significance between the CPWC group and DPWC group. After the same standard abdominal phase, these two groups were performed in different perineal phases. And then, operative and postoperative outcomes were analysed with different statistical methods. Data on wound healing time and length of stay in the DPWC group were shorter than those in the CPWC group (P < .05). Furthermore, cases of wound infection within 30 days in the DPWC group were also less than that in the CPWC group (P < .05). However, no difference was found between the incisional negative pressure wound therapy assisted group (NPA group) and non‐ incisional negative pressure wound therapy assisted group (non‐NPA group). During this study, hypoalbuminemia, as an independent high‐risk factor, impacted perineal wound healing. (P = .0271) In conclusion, DPWC is a new surgical approach, which can lead to a better outcome than DPWC, and it can be another surgical procedure for clinicians. In addition, hypoalbuminemia should be interfered for avoiding perineal wound complications.
When diabetes mellitus is not properly controlled with drugs and a healthy lifestyle, it exposes patients with advanced peripheral arterial disease or critical limb ischaemia (CLI) to the most serious complications, in particular lower limb ulcers. Surgical or endovascular treatments represent the first line of intervention; in addition, the adequate management of ulcers can guarantee not only a faster wound healing but also the improvement of the patient's prognosis. To speed up this process, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), platelet‐rich plasma (PRP), and other advanced moist wound dressing have been proposed. During Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, many patients with CLI and diabetes mellitus had difficult access to advanced treatments with a significant reduction in life expectancy. We report the cases of patients with non‐healing ulcers and CLI treated with an empiric multistage approach after successful endovascular revascularisation; the postoperative course was eventful in all patients, and foot ulcers are currently in an advanced state of healing. The association between adequate revascularisation, systemic anti‐inflammatory, and antibiotic therapy with the multistage advanced medications ensures healing of ulcers, limb salvage, and improvement of patient prognosis.
Continuous delivery of oxygen therapy has been observed to improve healing for individuals with an advanced diabetic foot ulcer (DFU). However, this intervention requires the purchasing of an oxygen delivery device and moist dressings. It is unknown whether this upfront financial investment represents good value for money. Thus the aim of this project is to evaluate the cost‐effectiveness of treating advanced DFU using continuous delivery of oxygen compared with negative pressure wound therapy from the perspective of the public health care payer in Ontario, Canada. A microsimulation model was constructed with inputs from peer‐reviewed journal publications and publicly available reports. The 5‐year costs and quality‐adjusted life‐years were compared between treatment and comparator. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the robustness of results. The model predicted that continuous delivery of oxygen would cost $4800 less compared with negative pressure wound therapy and increased quality‐adjusted life years by 0.025. Lower cost and improved outcomes were observed in most scenario analyses. The results of this economic evaluation suggest that CDO therapy may reduce health care economic burden with a modest increase in quality of life outcomes. Health care decision‐makers should consider the inclusion of CDO for the treatment of DFU.