Diabetes is a pretty serious health problem, one that a staggering number of people in the United States face every day. According to the CDC:
– 21 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed as diabetic
– 8.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but have not been diagnosed
That’s nearly 10% of the American population suffering from this metabolic disorder. Not something to take lightly!
Diabetes is already a fairly dangerous problem, but it also makes other health conditions and injuries more serious. For example, if you are injured or wounded, diabetes makes it harder for the wound to heal, and can lead to complications like:
- A weakened immune system
- Nerve damage
- Narrowed arteries
The truth is that diabetic wounds can be pretty serious, but thankfully, there may be a new cream that can help to deal with the problem!
The High Tech Lotion for Diabetic Wounds
Superheroes unite! Chad A. Mirkin, a chemist, and Amy S. Paller, a dermatologist and scientist, have teamed up to develop a topical cream that can speed up the healing of diabetic ulcers.
How It Works
The cream contains common moisturizing ingredients, but with one special ingredient added: Spherical nucleic acids. These SNAs are a tiny version of the RNA present in the human body, but the addition of SNAs to the cream helps to stop the gene that slows down the healing of diabetic wounds.
There is an enzyme in the body called GM3 synase. This enzyme slows healing among those with diabetes, preventing the skin from making repairs. But this new anti-diabetic skin lotion stops the enzyme from being produced, restoring the body’s healing factor to its normal speed. The SNAs in the cream target the genes responsible for producing the enzyme, effectively knocking them offline. This, in turn, helps the body to heal the lesions or wounds at a normal rate.
The cream was tested on diabetic mice, and the results were pretty impressive. After just four days, the mice with the cream applied healed far more noticeably than the control group mice. The control group took 18 days for their wounds to heal, while the test subjects with the cream applied were healed in just 12 days. Not only did they heal faster, but blood flow to the injured areas was much better as well!
Paller, the director of Northwestern University’s Skin Disease Research Center, stated,
“Finding a new way to effectively heal these resistant diabetic wounds is very exciting.”
Mirkin, the creator of SNAs way back in 1996, said,
“This work illustrates the scope and potential impact of the SNA platform for treating conditions of the skin with a known genetic basis. It is the only known nucleic acid platform for treating such ailments and constitutes a new pipeline of therapeutics to address a broad swath of debilitating health conditions.”
While the lotion has only been tested on mice to date, the potential for the cream is limitless. SNAs are non-toxic to humans, so they can be used in any number of products to speed up healing. Paller stated,
“This study further proved that SNAs—in nothing but common moisturizer—can penetrate the skin barrier, a challenge that other therapies have been unable to conquer.”
What’s more, the cream may not just be a method of treating the wounds, but possibly even preventing them! According to Dr. Paller,
“We think it also might be possible to prevent these ulcers, not just heal them, by rubbing the ointment on the bottom of the foot.”
Nothing more than simple moisturizing lotion with SNAs added, and it could be the solution for diabetic ulcers!