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Coating that protects fetus' skins accelerates healing.

An artificial version of vernix caseosa could speed up wound healing and treat eczema. Natural vernix caseosa contains a mixture of fatty compounds that provide protection and waterproofing for the fetus. It also contains dead cells called corneocytes, which store large amounts of water and ensure that the fetus does not become dehydrated. It may also act as a barrier to infections.

Joke Bouwstra and Robert Rissmann at Leiden University in the Netherlands mixed a range of fatty compounds, including lanolin, fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol with particles made of a water-storing hydrogel. They then rubbed this cream onto mice, missing a patch of their skin. The treated mice healed three times faster than untreated ones.

Rissmann R, et al. Int J Pharm 2009: doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2009.01.013.

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Title Annotation:Single Suture
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:May 1, 2009
Words:132
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