Insulin, a hormone generally known for regulating blood sugar levels, can also speed up the healing process when it is applied directly to the skin.
Rats treated with topical insulin healed wounds faster. The same result was found in follow-up studies on human skin cells in culture.
Insulin stimulates human keratinocytes, which are cells that regenerate the epidermis after wounding. It also caused microvascular endothelial cells, which restore blood flow, to migrate into the wounded tissue.
The insulin causes these effects by switching on cellular signaling proteins called kinases and a protein called SREBP.These results may help explain why diabetes, a disease caused by impaired production or utilization of insulin, is connected to poor healing.
When I mention insulin, it's typically in relation to the fact that most people have blood levels that are far too high. This is one of the primary physical reasons why most people develop chronic illnesses.
I was really amazed to find this amazing tip as I was reviewing some of the more than 4000 articles I review every week to find topics to post in this newsletter. Most don't realize that for every study you read here I reject over 100. The intention is to perform a comprehensive review for you to save you time and find the BEST and most current health information out there for you.
This remind me of the trick I learned 25 years ago, when I was a resident, of using super glue for wounds (I read about it in a letter to the editor in the British Medical Journal). I used it with great success in many of my ER rotations, and even today, it's still used as a simple way to close simple wounds (particularly face wounds, where it can help prevent unsightly scarring.)
Although I don't see patients anymore, I would most definitely try this new trick. In any event, I'll likely give it a try personally if I ever have a wound, as it seems like a great wound healer enhancer.
I was so intrigued with this idea that I decided to personally contact the lead researcher, Dr. Martins-Green and was able to connect with her yesterday.
Unfortunately she could not share any specific details as her university is considering some type of product based on this research. She did agree to contact me when she had more information that she could share.
However, the reason she embarked on this is that insulin is very safe, especially in small doses with virtually no side effects.
So, although she was unwilling to share the details this does not seem that hard. It would seem a few units of insulin dissolved in a few cc of sterile saline and dropped over the wound would go a long way towards healing the wound. If I had a wound I would certainly consider applying some sterile saline with a few units of insulin in it to speed up the healing.
Duoderm To the Rescue