Effect of UV Irradiation on Cutaneous Cicatrices: A Randomized, Controlled Trial with Clinical, Skin Reflectance, Histological, Immunohistochemical and Biochemical Evaluations
Eva Due, Kristian Rossen, Lars Tue Sorensen, Anette Kliem, Tonny Karlsmark and Merete Haedersdal
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on human cutaneous cicatrices. In this randomized, controlled study, dermal punch biopsy wounds served as a wound healing model. Wounds healed by primary or second intention and were randomized to postoperative solar UV irradiation or to no UV exposure. Evaluations after 5 and 12 weeks included blinded clinical assessments, skin reflectance measurements, histology, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical analyses of the N-terminal propeptide from procollagen-1, hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine, and proline. Twelve weeks postoperatively, UV-irradiated cicatrices healing by second intention: (i) were significantly pointed out as the most disfiguring; (ii) obtained significantly higher scores of colour, infiltration and cicatrix area; and (iii) showed significantly higher increase in skin-reflectance measurements of skin-pigmentation vs. non-irradiated cicatrices. No histological, immunohistochemical or biochemical differences were found. In conclusion, postoperative UV exposure aggravates the clinical appearance of cicatrices in humans.