Burn wound conversion refers to the phenomenon whereby superficial burns that appear to retain the ability to spontaneously heal, convert later into deeper wounds in need of excision. While no current treatment can definitively stop burn wound conversion, attempts to slow tissue damage remain unsatisfactory, justifying the need for new therapeutic interventions. To attenuate burn wound conversion, various studies have targeted at least one of the molecular mechanisms underlying burn wound conversion, including ischemia, inflammation, apoptosis, autophagy, generation of reactive oxygen species, hypothermia, and wound rehydration. However, therapeutic strategies that can target various mechanisms involved in burn wound conversion are still lacking. This review highlights the pathophysiology of burn wound conversion and focuses on recent studies that have turned to the novel use of biologics such as mesenchymal stem cells, biomaterials, and immune regulators to mitigate wound conversion. Future research should investigate mechanistic pathways, side effects, safety, and efficacy of these different treatments before translation into clinical studies.
- wounds and injuries
ASJC Scopus subject areas