Leg ulcers effect over 200,000 people in theUKand are notoriously hard to heal, but a cream containing the female hormone oestrogen could help skin ulcers heal faster.
Researchers at theUniversityofManchesterhave discovered that the female hormone oestrogen plays a key role in wound healing and could help speed up the healing of skin ulcers.
Oestrogen levels decline in both men and women as they get older as part of the natural ageing process, so the older we get the less oestrogen we have, which is why non healing leg ulcers mostly effect those over the age of 50. A decline on oestrogen levels reduces the skin’s elasticity and alters the body’s response to inflammation.
Until now, it has been poorly understood why some wounds take a long time to heal. However the new research made the break through discovery that oestrogen levels have a significant effect on a range of different cells within a wound.
The discovery could lead to a new treatment for people with non-healing wounds by transferring the hormone into a cream to be applied directly to skin ulcers.[quote]A new trial in underway using a topical version of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, which is similar in structure to oestrogen. Tamoxifen has been identified as a possible treatment for non-healing wounds by the researchers and has been made into a cream. Trials on the new cream 30 volunteers will begin shortly.[/quote]