London: Those living under fear of scars after undergoing surgery can take a sigh of relief as scientists have developed a new revolutionary wound dressing plaster that can reduce scars caused by surgery.

Developed by a team of researchers from the Stanford University in the US, the dressing is made from a form of silicone which is stretched over the wound and left in place for up to eight weeks.

The plaster works by reducing the tension on the skin that leads to scarring, the Daily Mail reported.

After surgery, stitches (or sutures) are normally used to hold the two edges of tissue together, so the wound can heal and the skin rejoin.

During the healing process, inflammation around the damaged area stimulates the production of a substance called ‘collagen’, which help the wound heal.

But, unfortunately these substance doesn't work the same way where the stitches are used, resulting in scarring.
       
But, the new dressing, which is applied immediately after the stitches have been removed, is designed to contract slightly over several hours so it gently pulls the surrounding tissue towards the wound.
This reduces the tension on the flesh, stopping scar tissue from spreading outwards.


The Stanford researchers first tested the dressing on pigs, which have very similar skin to humans, and found it led to a six-fold reduction in the amount of scarring caused by a
one-inch incision.
       
Then, they tried it on a group of nine women who had undergone tummy-tuck surgery, a procedure which normally leaves scars that are both wide and thick.

Half the wound was treated with the new dressing, while the other half was left to heal on its own.

The results, reported in the journal Annals Of Surgery, showed the area treated with the silicone dressing had significantly reduced scarring.
       
"It was surprisingly effective treatment," said Professor Michael Longaker, who led the study.
       
Researchers believe the dressing could also encourage patients with disfiguring scars to undergo surgery to get rid of them, using the new technique to improve the healing process.
       
Although it is at an early stage of testing, if larger trials prove successful, it could be available within the next three to five years.
       
Dr Nick Lowe, from the British Association of Dermatologists, says anything that helped to reduce the tension in tissue surrounding a wound would potentially reduce scarring.
       
"If you can immobilise the skin around the wound, as this does, it eases the tension and gives you less of a scar," he adds.

(Agencies)