Scarred for Life? How Visible Scars Can Impact Quality of Life

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – What are the ramifications of scarring on patients’ quality of life? While some may consider scarring to be merely a cosmetic concern, it can genuinely affect their psychosocial health. This was the conclusion of research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2016 Summer Meeting in Boston. According to the research, patients with scars in highly visible areas such as the face, younger patients and those with occupations requiring frequent interaction with others were most bothered by scarring.

According to the AAD, a scar forms when trauma disrupts the collagen in the skin. When too much collagen builds up, the result is a raised—or hypertrophic—scar. A lack of collagen, on the other hand, causes a pitted—or atrophic—scar.

Fortunately for patients, dermatologists are developing an improved understanding of the biology of scarring, allowing them to develop more effective treatments that may reduce the occurrence of scars and thereby improve patients’ quality of life.

“One of the more innovative approaches currently in development to reduce the formation of hypertrophic scars involves focusing on the proteins that ultimately overproduce scar tissue,” says Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. “Harnessing the power of the RNAi mechanism to reduce the production of unsightly scars is among the innovative therapeutic approaches now being investigated by researchers.”

“Work involving RNAi-based therapy could one day translate into better outcomes for patients with hypertrophic scarring and other types of scarring, including trauma surgical patients and even those with organ fibrosis,” added Dr. Cauwenbergh.

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