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Green Lasers Show Promise for Healing Scars

Laser scar healing
Rather than cause more damage, scientists say lasers could improve the healing process of scars. According to Scientific American, researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Wellman Center for Photomedicine used a green laser and a pink dye to reconnect nerves, blood vessels, tendons and incisions in the cornea.

The study's goal was to find alternative methods to using sutures on patients. During the process, which simply stimulates the body's natural healing functions, scientists placed a dye called rose bengal on the wound. Then, they trained a green laser on the wound for three minutes. The dye absorbed light from the laser, causing the collagen molecules to crisscross together -- rather than zipper together like sutures. The scientists hope to reduce the amount of time the dye needs to be exposed to the wound. Also, they want to increase the number of bonds made at the wound so that this could be used on parts of the body that stretch more often (like knees and elbows).

This process has promise, although it'll be a while before we see it regularly used at the hospital. But if improved, it could drastically reduce scarring and save doctors and nurses a lot of time. [From: Scientific American]

Tags: harvard medical school, HarvardMedicalSchool, health, laser, lasers, medical, medicine, research, Stitches, study, suturing, top