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New hydrating topical product speeds healing of wounds.

ORLANDO -- A new wound dressing emulsion speeds healing without the sensitivity issues of a topical antibiotic and is expected on the U.S. market soon, according to a presentation by Dr. Susan H. Weinkle at the annual meeting of the Florida Society of Dermatologic Surgeons.

Indications for the product, named Biafine (OrthoNeutrogena/Medix Pharmaceuticals), include partial- and full-thickness wounds, pressure sores, and dermal ulcers, including lower leg ulcers. The product also is indicated for treatment of superficial wounds, minor abrasions, and first-degree and second-degree burns, as well as for management of dermal donor and graft sites, Dr. Weinkle said.

In addition, "it works well with sunburn and makes people feel better pretty quickly," noted Dr. Weinkle, a dermatologist in private practice in Bradenton, Fla.

The emulsion can be applied just once a day, after the site is washed with saline, water, or wound cleanser, she said.

The agent works by hydrating wounds and causing fibroblast proliferation, both of which reduce recovery time. "The product hydrates deeply, forms a protective barrier, and recruits macrophages to the wound site," said Dr. Weinkle, also of the University of South Florida in Tampa and a consultant for OrthoNeutrogena.

"It aids in removing necrotic tissues. It softens eschar so you can easily debride it," she added.

An image analysis study conducted to determine the speed and extent of wound healing found that Biafine healed wounds in 8 days, compared with 12 days for petrolatum (IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging 2000;19:767-72).

Dr. Weinkle stated she has used the product with good results for a post-Mohs patient who did not want a complete closure of the defect, a teen with a chemical burn from chlorine bleach, and patients with diabetic ulcers.

"I've seen no contact dermatitis from this product, unlike some topical antibiotics," Dr. Weinkle said.

"I agree about the contact dermatitis from topical antibiotics," session moderator Dr. Keyvan Nouri commented during the question-and-answer period. "We do not use bacitracin or Polysporin in our practice. We use only petrolatum."

"And I think it's better than petrolatum," Dr. Weinkle continued. "You get a nice effect, reepithelialization, without sensitization."

Biafine was developed in France initially to treat radiation dermatitis in hospitals, then as a postsunburn treatment marketed directly to French consumers. The water-based emulsion product should be approved for use in the United States in the next few months, Dr. Weinkle said.

BY DAMIAN MCNAMARA

Miami Bureau
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Title Annotation:Dermatology; annual meeting of the Florida Society of Dermatologic Surgeons
Author:McNamara, Damian
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:399
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