Logging you in, please wait...
You are logged in
Log in to your account

McIndoe and PharmEcosse Ltd investigate the healing power of insulin

From: Selected Treats,

McIndoe and PharmEcosse Ltd investigate the healing power of insulin

Unsightly dermal scars are often an unwanted side effect of surgery and can not only leave patients feeling self conscious, but can also complicate the healing and rehabilitation process.

Topical scar treatments typically consist of Vitamin E solutions, moisturisers or prescribed medicated creams that increase cell turnover, but the routine of slapping substances on and hoping for the best may be about to change.

As part of a quest to improve post-surgical healing, McIndoe Surgical Centre’s Charles Nduka and pharmaceutical company PharmEcosse Ltd have teamed up to launch a series of clinical trials investigating the use of insulin to prevent scarring. Prior studies that have been conducted over the past 14 years have found that insulin (a naturally occuring hormone that helps the body to synthesise sugar and is more commonly prescribed during treatment for diabetes) has the ability to rapidly cut healing times by ‘switching off’ elements of the wound-healing process before a scar has the chance to form.

Tough and thickened ‘scar tissue’ on the surface of the skin is formed around an injury or incision when the body rushes to produce new connective fibers designed to close open wounds. Although this tissue is able to repair surface damage, it is not as functional as the original flesh and instead serves as a protective barrier against bacteria and further damage during prolonged healing. Scar tissue is paler and denser than the surrounding skin because it has a limited blood supply and as a result, it offers less capacity for movement, circulation, and sensation.

Over six million people undergo surgery in the UK each year and Dr Claire Linge, head of research at PharmEcosse, believes that if successful, this study could potentially provide a vital aid to their recovery.

“We have been looking into the use of different components to prevent or reduce scar tissue over the past 14 years [and] insulin was found to control the activity of the key cells involved in wound closure and subsequent scar formation. This means the wound closes, but the build up of scar tissue slows down or stops,” she explained. “Importantly, we have found that insulin can be successfully used as a single dose at the time of surgery and so it is a quick and easy process.”

“In my experience, scarring affects patients mentally as well as physically, particularly if it is in a prominent position on the body,” added Mr Nduka, the research group’s head surgeon. “Insulin is an everyday drug, but this treatment has the potential to revolutionise people’s lives.”

Trials are due to start this month, and will take place on women who are undergoing non-cancer related breast surgery (such as reductions and augmentations).

“[This will mean] we are able to administer the insulin on one breast and a placebo on the other,” explained Mr Nduka. “We are therefore looking for ladies who are thinking of having breast augmentations or reductions to take part [and] patients will be monitored over 12 months following surgery.”

If the insulin treatment appears to reduce scarring across the test group during this period, it is hoped that it could be adapted to benefit everyone from accident victims and cosmetic surgery recipients to patients who have undergone operations to treat cancer.

Are you blighted by scar tissue that you hate the look of or that affects your mobility on a day to day basis? Would you like to have received insulin treatment whilst healing after surgery or a slip up, or do you believe that if proven to work, the treatment should be reserved for the likes of burns victims and those who have been in more serious accidents? Let us know by tweeting @Wahanda].

For more information about taking part in clinical trials mentioned above, visit pharmecosse.com

Share this

Alison is a freelance journalist, blogger and life-long Londoner. A subject matter magpie and self-confessed make up junkie, if it's new, a little bit different and promises great things, she'll be onto it in a flash.

See my profile »

More Entries

Wahanda loves: Super-polishes

Wahanda loves: super strawberries

Spa of the week: Tylney Hall Hotel and Spa

Tried and tested: Perfect Posture Session at Anamaya

Wahanda guide: ironing out wrinkles with thermage

Tried and tested: Pre-wedding pamper package at Michaela Mitoi

Wahanda loves: summer spa-ing

Wahanda loves: Sweet summer nail art

Wahanda guide: Lee Garrett talks treating hair loss

Wahanda loves: shine in jewel tones this winter

Wahanda loves: skin soothing solutions for National Eczema Week

Wahanda guide: fix your feet and walk tall

Wahanda loves: post-holiday healing with essential oils

Wahanda news: Champneys Tring to launch fertility programme

Wahanda news: JooMo brings truly 'natural' beauty to UK shelves

Wahanda news: The Sanctuary joins Vogue's 'Fashion's Night Out'

Wahanda news: UK’s first children's acupuncture clinic opens in London

Wahanda loves: Olympic winners and their local spas

Wahanda news: Lifehouse Spa launches partnership with ESPA

Tried and tested: soothing spa kits from Keep Immaculate

Could a coffee fix improve your memory?

Wellness profile: Rebecca Mayhew

For fitness with a tree top twist, Go Ape

Is the secret to healthy eating written in the stars?

Turn back the clock with just a smile

Creativity's mane event: Psionics Hair Show 2011

Tried and tested: Vita Liberata self tan

Reassess your activity levels and improve your health

Revealing the June Wahandies winners - gentlemen, this month it's all about you!

Stress and the city

Seeing red?

Stay sun aware: stay safe

Hypnobirthing hits Hollywood

Could back pain shrink your brain?

The Bikini Workout from Sienna Spa

Giving Britain something to smile about

The price of junk food? Britain's health

Uplifting skin solutions from down under – tried and tested: Sasy n Savy

Melvita opens enchanting eco store in Putney

Camouflage and cunning cover ups

Wahanda visits the Vitality show

Hypoxi therapy: more than just hype

Radisson brings the stars to Guildford

Tried and tested: high glamour blow-out at The Blow Bar, Islington

Life's a BLEACH at Topshop

Be the mane attraction

Drastic divorce makeovers and promotion-seeking plastic surgery

Brow lifts to lift the pain of migraines

Bring out the bunting and balloons for our birthday bash!

Shun Cupid and get glammed up

The Mere the merrier this Valentine's!

Help to mend rather than break hearts this February

Woo your date with dated bookings

Dare to bare for these Valentine's treatments

Will you be adding budget beauty treatments to your basket?

Food for thought: National Obesity Week

Up your berry intake and lower your blood pressure

Take the plunge and sign up for Swimathon 2011

Saving face: women are budgeting for Botox

Get your skates on!

Sort out your seasonally stressed skin

Are you tough enough to take on the Soldier Challenge?

Restore your joie de vivre at The Vitality Show 2011

Make a day of your mani at Nailgirls, Islington

All Brits want for Christmas is their two front teeth

For magical Christmas gifts, look no further than Wahanda

Merry Fish-mas!

Have yourself an Elemis-y Christmas

New Year, new you: 2011 toning-up trends

Plum: the new fragrance by Mary Greenwell

Bliss Christmas Customer Event

Blister busting Botox?

Wellness profile: Anne Biging

Wahanda on wellness: An interview with Anne Biging, Healing Hotels of the World

Give in to a gill-ty pleasure as Aqua Sheko comes to Soho

Downward dog; upward spirits

Posh pooch pampering at Harrods

The (bleached) end of perfect dye jobs?

Pre-Xmas fun with The Beauty Lounge

Bird beauty: Flamingos paint their quills

Slim without visiting the gym

Dream a little dream WITH me

Celebs turn their backs on Botox

Feed your gums

Fab craze or plain crazy? The chipped varnish manicure

Like a gym bunny...

Top pampering with lustre and bling

Jet set beauty

Eastthorpe set to raise brows as it goes HD

Stay slim; make sure your wallet’s bulging

Monday’s child is... lactose intolerant?

Salvage your skin: how to eliminate stretch marks

The mane attraction

It’s strictly pilates, darling

Stub out your smoking habit

Coming soon: sunshine in a tube?

Women prefer to see their cups half full

Stay sharp: let your mind (and body) wander

Say bye-bye to your BMI?

The Tan Factor comes to town

Acupuncture baby, yeah!

Apples and pears

Exercise, socialise and challenge mental health stigma

Science has spoken: beat stress with massage

Shimmer this winter with silver locks

Think before you ink: time to zap those tatts?

Weird and wonderful wellness mongrels

Injecting trust into the cosmetic industry

Polish those pinkies in aid of breast cancer charities

Tried and tested: the hottest thing in detoxing, Iyashi Dome

A stem cell smile?

A stitch and line reverses time

Top of the chocs

Think pink this October

Your health’s best friend?

Forget man flu, is there such thing as fat flu?

Store-hoppers: splash out and treat your feet!

The Minx effect

The ins and outs of Olympia Beauty 2010

Five alternative therapies that could help you stay fighting fit

Stealthy secret surgery figures soar

Ditch the itch this autumn

One feline's rehab is coming along swimmingly

Put your best foot forward

Turn that frown upside down

Sniffing out some original exercise

Is CO2 the anti-ageing jab for you?

Kayoga™ - hit the beach and strike a pose

Champneys champions Breast Cancer Care

Cupping and meditation: Jessica Simpson's path to tranquility