Scar management in burn injuries using drug delivery and molecular signaling: Current treatments and future directions

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Abstract

In recent decades, there have been tremendous improvements in burn care that have allowed patients to survive severe burn injuries that were once fatal. However, a major limitation of burn care currently is the development of hypertrophic scars in approximately 70% of patients. This significantly decreases the quality of life for patients due to the physical and psychosocial symptoms associated with scarring. Current approaches to manage scarring include surgical techniques and non-surgical methods such as laser therapy, steroid injections, and compression therapy. These treatments are limited in their effectiveness and regularly fail to manage symptoms. As a result, the development of novel treatments that aim to improve outcomes and quality of life is imperative. Drug delivery that targets the molecular cascades of wound healing to attenuate or prevent hypertrophic scarring is a promising approach that has therapeutic potential. In this review, we discuss current treatments for scar management after burn injury, and how drug delivery targeting molecular signaling can lead to new therapeutic strategies.

Graphical abstract

Signaling pathways targeting wound management might provide a unique opportunity to prevent and/or manage scar post thermal injury.

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