A new study has demonstrated that the topical application of Alpha Lipioc Acid (ALA) could radically reduce the scarring area after a thermal wound in a dose dependent manner. It can be suggested in treatment of various injury scars, especially post burn hypertrophic scar (HTS) with standard anti-scarring agents1.
Hypertrophic scar (HTS) may cause due to burn, any skin infection or injury, scratches, bites or by surgical procedure activity. It may also be caused by deposition of collagen for longer period with constant inflammation and fibrosis2.
Burn scar after injury is most prevalent and common. There are no satisfactory methods for treatment of post burn scars. However, few techniques that are used to handle HTS includes; radiotherapy, corticosteroid, laser surgery, silicone gel sheeting and natural products or combination therapies3, 4.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is known for its antioxidant activity. It is synthesized in liver mitochondria and other tissues. It also acts as a co-factor for numerous enzyme reactions. Its amphipathic property makes it a universal antioxidant6. It exhibits many pharmaceutical and protective properties like; anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic reno-protective, cardio-protective, neuro-protective and hepato-protective5.
In fewer studies anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effects with improved wound healing property has also been demonstrated6. They also inhibit excessive deposition of collagen in UV-irradiated human skin fibroblasts cells7.
Researchers gathered all possible information and made a hypothesis that ALA might have an anti-scarring effect too. Therefore a study was conducted to check the beneficial effect of ALA by checking the collagen levels (deposition) and scar elevation index (SEI). The protein expression and histological changes were also checked1.
Model animal used for the study were Rabbits, they were divided into 4 groups. Collagen contents were significantly decreased. Irregular histological changes were returned to normal. The topical function of ALA could radically subordinate the scarring area after a thermal wound in a dose-dependent manner by suppressing collagen contents, SEI and protein expression of TGF-β1 with increased protein expression of MMP-1.
Therefore, ALA can be recommended for treating various injury scar especially post-burn hypertrophic scar with standard anti-scarring agents. However, advance studies are requisite to corroborate the in depth mechanism behind its anti-scarring action.
Written by: Rabeeia
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17 November, 2019