You must log in or register to comment.

Ghostbuttser t1_irg1vhw wrote

FYI, the picture used is a stock image. There's no point in having a debate about whether it's a scar or not when it's not even the result of the treatment, which was in a mouse by the way.

I would recommend reading the article, but the cliff notes version is that the experiment is using e.coli bacteria to produce the protein from the mussels, as extracting it from the source is time consuming, and in small amounts.

Then it's purified, mixed with hyaluronic acid and combined with epidermal growth factor, and allantoin to help speed healing, both of which are released over time into the wound, though at markedly different rates. One of the biggest advantages of it though, is it's bio-compatibility and a safe degradation, as opposed to something like sutures,which themselves cause scars, or fibrin glue which can cause clots if it seeps into the blood.


[deleted] t1_irfm7y7 wrote



The-Real-Dr-Jan-Itor t1_irfpl5s wrote

A few nuances to this - medical leeches aren’t sterile. In fact they have bacteria that can cause serious infections, so patients are treated prophylactically with antibiotics when treated with leeches.

Also, leeches aren’t used for skin grafts, but instead flaps, or other tissues that have poor blood flow (they are used to drain congested tissues to prevent tissue death).


kazr99 t1_irfngyj wrote

Why would they do that?


Maephia t1_irfofse wrote

Leech saliva has very useful properties that make it helpful to heal, it helps bloodflow, can reduce coagulation and other things. Leeches and maggots are extremely useful still in modern medicine.


ackermann t1_irfpj5i wrote

> Leech saliva has very useful properties that make it helpful to heal

Maybe we could just harvest the saliva then, rather than using actual leeches? You could buy “leech saliva” over the counter, to put on small wounds, under a bandaid.

Or perhaps synthesize the relevant components. Add them to products like Neosporin


Maephia t1_irfptmr wrote

If it could be done it would be done so I assume there are issues. Plus this works well, is safe and is cheap so why change?


jackjackj8ck t1_irfslhz wrote

The actual bloodsucking they do help promotes blood flow to the skin grafts


kazr99 t1_irfsp8n wrote

It’s probably not worth it and my guess is the extraction of the saliva could not yield enough and other local anesthetics are probably cheaper to produce.


Uncynical_Diogenes t1_irg8o96 wrote

The person who offhandedly proposes that we farm leeches for their proteins never stops to think about why it is just easier to farm leeches.


EbagI t1_irg1qxd wrote

We actually do have a medicine directly from their saliva (hirudin, the medicine is a synthetic analog, bivalirudin)

But, the benefit of the leech therapy is that it get exactly where you want it and really helps with microvasculature, bivalirudin is IV only (i.e. you can only give it via an a vein and it circulated systemically)


Uncynical_Diogenes t1_irg8r6w wrote

Like yeah, we can make leech juice, but we can’t administer it leech-style, which is the main benefit of administering leeches in the first place.


Magere-Kwark t1_irfnv6z wrote

I assume to encourage blood flow to the newly added skin.


IEnjoyFancyHats t1_irfo4uo wrote

There's also been some use of maggots in a medical context, they eat necrotic tissue and leave the living stuff alone


memearchivingbot t1_irg422u wrote

Yes, just to add on they have to use specific kinds of maggots that prefer necrotic tissue. Just in case anyone without healthcare coverage tries using this kind of treatment you'd need to make sure you have the kind that won't eat living tissue


SlouchyGuy t1_irg7glk wrote

A note: Recently there was a research done on the reason why scars happen and how to heal with a trace (big factor seems to be skin tension, the skin which is loose is more likely to heal with a scar), and there's already a medication (Verteporfin) which is approved and used on humans which stops scars from appearing when healing, and now some doctors use it off-label for operations.

Almost a year has passed since this publication and what I don't understand is why there's no information of trials considering that Verteporfin is already safe for humans and is not "just a mouse miracle cure", and scars is a major and widespread issue


stststststststs t1_irh1375 wrote

Yeah, as someone who has only followed Verteporfin at a surface level since seeing that paper last year, I second the confusion as why using it for scars has been such a slow process, especially considering its already approved in humans.


kagamiseki t1_irh50kb wrote

A potential issue is that verteporfin is a photosensitizer.

One of it's current usages is to cause controlled local tissue damage, to destroy or modulate proliferative lesions. It's given as an IV infusion, for a few minutes, followed by controlled application of light, then patients have to stay out of sunlight and bright indoor lighting for several days. Treated lesions may scar afterwards.

It's approved, and it may be useful for this purpose, but it definitely isn't completely benign, and doesn't necessarily eliminate scarring either. It's not clear how much would need to be given, how long it would need to be given for, and whether applying it topically or locally would be sufficient. If it turns out to need prolonged IV treatment, perhaps it could cause blindness as it circulates around the eyes and gets activated by screens, sunlight, and lighting.

What would be the potential risks of longer treatment? How long would it stick around in the tissue/blood? How much risk would there be of activation by light penetration into the skin? These are all questions that cost a lot of money to answer, and the answers could be deal-breakers.

It's promising, but it's not a harmless miracle drug.


Beneficial_Cobbler46 t1_irya3oj wrote

Right. if it ends up working but treated people need to live in the dark for 2 weeks, it'll end up only being used for serious issues for which that level of inconvience and risk is worth it.


[deleted] t1_irfift5 wrote



[deleted] t1_irfjcdd wrote



[deleted] t1_irfjirh wrote



[deleted] t1_irfjxhd wrote



[deleted] t1_irfk6w5 wrote



[deleted] t1_irfe7ge wrote



JammyHammy86 t1_irhm15o wrote

take my money. my damn arms looks like it was ripped from a ghoul in Fallout and stitched on. actually, halloween is coming up. time to dust off the ol' short-sleeves


AutoModerator t1_irfdpo0 wrote

Welcome to r/science! This is a heavily moderated subreddit in order to keep the discussion on science. However, we recognize that many people want to discuss how they feel the research relates to their own personal lives, so to give people a space to do that, personal anecdotes are now allowed as responses to this comment. Any anecdotal comments elsewhere in the discussion will continue to be removed and our normal comment rules still apply to other comments.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


NETSPLlT t1_irh0cpn wrote

Would it still come apart if someone got leprosy?


mmrrbbee t1_irhkl6e wrote

Everything comes apart with enough time of leprosy. Scurvy is probably the bigger question because your body pulls scars apart to get the nutrients out of them.