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Good news! A study suggests that light therapy may accelerate the healing of burns

Published on:10 August 2021, 11:00am IST
It is very hard to reduce burn marks but light therapy may offer a ray of hope.
ANI
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light therapy and burn injuries
Heal burns with light therapy! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A recent study has shown that light therapy helps burn injuries heal faster by triggering growth protein.

The research, published in ‘Scientific Reports’, found that photobiomodulation therapy — a form of low-dose light therapy capable of relieving pain and promoting healing and tissue regeneration — sped up recovery from burns and reduced inflammation in mice by activating endogenous TGF-beta 1, a protein that controls cell growth and division.

Here’s what the study has to say

“The findings may impact therapeutic treatments for burn injuries, which affect more than 6 million people worldwide each year,” said lead investigator Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD, assistant professor of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

oily skin in monsoon
These additions will go a long way in ensuring you have healthy skin all monsoon long! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Photobiomodulation therapy has been effectively used in supportive cancer care, age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease,” added Arany.

“A common feature among these ailments is the central role of inflammation. This work provides evidence for the ability of photobiomodulation-activated TGF-beta 1 in mitigating the inflammation while promoting tissue regeneration utilizing an elegant, transgenic burn wound model,” further explained Arany.

The study measured the effect of photobiomodulation on the closure of third-degree burns over a period of nine days.

The treatment triggered TGF-beta 1, which stimulated various cell types involved in healing, including fibroblasts (the main connective tissue cells of the body that play an important role in tissue repair) and macrophages (immune cells that lower inflammation, clean cell debris and fight infection).

The researchers also developed a precise burn healing protocol for photobiomodulation treatments to ensure additional thermal injuries are not inadvertently generated by laser use.

Laser treatment to your rescue

The effectiveness of photobiomodulation in treating pain and stimulating healing has been documented in hundreds of clinical trials and thousands of academic papers.

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The therapy was recently recommended as a standard treatment for pain relief from cancer-associated oral mucositis (inflammation and lesions in the mouth) by the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer.

Additional investigators on the study include Imran Khan, PhD, first author and staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute; Saeed Ur Rahman, PhD, assistant professor at Khyber Medical University, Peshawar; Elieza Tang, DDS, dentist; Karl Engel, senior field clinical specialist at Abbott; Bradford Hall, PhD, staff scientist, and Ashok Kulkarni, PhD, senior investigator, both at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.