Researcher seeks participants for scar sensitivity study

February 15, 2018

A keloid scar often takes a long time to fade and can feel painful.

Murdoch University researcher Professor Peter Drummond is seeking participants for his study on the effectiveness of a topical cream to reduce the pain experienced by skin with keloid scarring.

Keloid scars are those scars which spread over time into surrounding skin, and can appear raised or uneven. It is one of the most common types of scar, usually resulting from a cut or incision made to the skin. When the scar is new or healing, it can feel itchy or have a painful or tingling sensation.

“These scars are associated with chronic inflammation and other signs of abnormal wound healing,” Professor Drummond said.  “In particular, the healing process appears to persist longer than necessary, because the scar eventually starts to infiltrate into normal surrounding skin.”

Professor Drummond is seeking 10-15 volunteers who are generally in good health but have a keloid scar and are experiencing some discomfort with it, to take part in the study.

“We want to measure the sensitivity of the scar in response to applying two different creams to the scar tissue,” he said.

One cream will include the active ingredient prazosin, which has previously had applications for treating high blood pressure and post-traumatic stress disorder, while the other will be a placebo.

“We expect that painful sensations will decrease in the keloid scar at the site treated with prazosin cream, but will not change after applying the cream base alone.”

Outcomes of this study will be used to apply for funding to support Professor Drummond’s combined research with Professor Fiona Wood into the physiological causes of discomfort and sensitivity of keloid scars, and how it can be treated.

If you wish to take part in the study, please contact: or phone 9360 2415 before the end of March.

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Media contact: Paige Berdal
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Categories: General, School of Psychology and Exercise Science Research
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