Covering burns with a hydrogel and a special adhesive film eases pain, speeds healing, and reduces scarring, according to new research. In a 2-year study, 44 burn patients received the dressing, called BurnShield, as a first treatment. The semipermeable adhesive film covering the hydrogel allowed moisture to leave (but not enter) the wound and protected the wound from bacteria. The dressings were reapplied every 24 to 48 hours until the burns healed. On average, applications relieved pain in about 2 minutes, and healing occurred in about 17 days.
Only 5% of patients developed scars. Typically, 45% to 70% of patients with burns are left with scars, according to researcher Enzo Osti, MD.