Las Vegas - The new wound healing product Biafine (OrthoNeutrogena), gaining popularity among radiation oncologists for the treatment of radiation dermatitis, also offers an innovative option for dermatologists in treating problems ranging from sunburn to superficial wounds, according to Diane Berson, M.D., speaking at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery here.
Like other wound dressings, Biafine provides a moist environment for the healing process while isolating the wound from harmful pathogens and other contaminants. But what makes Biafine different from other occlusive products is its ability to recruit macrophages to the wound site.
"By recruiting macrophages to the wound site, the product supposedly can help impact all three phases of the healing process," says Dr. Berson, an assistant professor of dermatology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University.
Patients receiving radiation therapy typically can use Biafine three times a day to prevent and treat radiation dermatitis.
Biafine can also be used to treat pressure sores, dermal ulcers, full thickness wounds, second-degree burns and to manage dermal donor graft sites.
This may prove to be an ideal product for cosmetic dermatology patients undergoing ablative procedures such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing, Dr. Berson says.
A small study of six patients showed some evidence that Biafine could help speed up the healing process. In the study, wounds treated with Biafine healed significantly earlier - four days - compared to those treated with a petrolatum gauze (IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2000 Jul;19(7):767-772).
"The wounds treated with the Biafine preparation healed in about eight days, as opposed to 12 days with the petrolatum gauze," Dr. Berson tells Dermatology Times.
Biafine should not be used by patients who have allergies to certain medications or foods because it contains avocado.
Biafine should also not be applied to dermal grafts until after the graft has successfully taken.