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Researchers Developed Antifreeze Cream to Prevent Skin Frostbite

Frostbite is a painful injury whenever ice crystals develop in the skin. This could affect skiers, soldiers, hikers, and others exposed to extremely low temperatures. However, several severely cold regions are remote; therefore, delays in frostbite therapy could lead to severe scarring, wounds, and now even amputation of limbs. According to a study published in ACS Applied Biomaterials researchers have developed a cream that avoids frostbite damage in mice whenever applied to the skin 15 minutes before severe cold exposure.

Frostbite not only destroys skin cells; however, it can also injure deeper tissues such as muscle and bone, leading to secondary infections and nerve damage. Like rapid rewarming of the injured limb, many treatments aim to reverse tissue freezing. However, several cells already have perished by the time treatment is administered. Scientists have recently discovered frostbite prevention solutions, like electric warmers sewed into garments or transgenic antifreeze proteins; however, these methods are frequently expensive, impractical, or unsafe.

Many treatments, like rapid rewarming of the injured limb, try to reverse tissue freezing. However, many cells have already perished by the time treatment is administered. Whenever applied to the skin 15 mins. Before severe cold contact, a new cream produced by researchers reduces frostbite injuries.

The researchers initially looked at how varying quantities of DMSO and PVA, alone or in combination, could prevent grown cells in a dish from dying when subjected to a freezing temperature. They discovered that a mixture of 2% DMSO and 1.6 mg/mL PVA gave the best cell survival (about 80%) while protecting the cell membrane and cytoskeleton. This combination, dubbed SynAFP by the researchers, likewise helped cells to proliferate and express proteins more regularly after being exposed to cold. Next, the team combined SynAFP with a commercial aloe vera ointment and administered it to mice’s skin 15 minutes before a cold challenge.

Compared to no therapy, the cream reduced the proportion of frostbite wounds, tissue injury, swelling, and accelerated healing. Whenever applied 30 minutes or over before the cold challenge, the cream didn’t stop frostbite; but several administrations did not harm the skin. The researchers said more research is needed to evaluate the antifreeze cream’s effects in individuals and how often it needs to be used.

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