New Scar Laser trial (SMOOTH) opens for recruitment

The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research is aiming to minimise the psychological and physical impact of scarring among armed forces personnel and civilians. The Centre is a ground-breaking, national facility that marks a vital step in realising the charity’s goal of achieving scar free healing within a generation.

Burn injury is the fourth most common type of trauma. One important study estimated that worldwide, 11 million people suffered fire-related burn injury, with 265,000 deaths annually. Burns are also one of the leading causes of disability and up to 90% of the patients who survive a burn suffer from significant scarring. There is an urgent need for improvements in the treatment of older scars. Laser therapy has been used since the 1980s to treat them, but there is limited information into how it actually works; this study aims to find this out.

The Investigating teams in Birmingham and Swansea hope to recruit 60 patients with scarring and treat these scars with a laser to explore how it improves the appearance of the scars. This project is being led by Prof Naiem Moiemen, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham, in conjunction with clinicians at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery.

Prof Naiem Moiemen added that he is “…very happy that the trial is now open. It is still a mystery as to how laser treatment can improve the appearance of scarring. We hope this research will uncover how this works on a molecular level and that this will, in turn, lead to the development of future treatments for scarring.”

The Birmingham team have now recruited their first patient and are looking forward to getting stuck in!

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