Faga A, Nicoletti G, Gregotti C, Finotti V, Nitto A, Gioglio L.
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pavia - IRCCS Fondazione S. Maugeri, Pavia, Italy
An experimental study was carried out in an animal (New Zealand white rabbit) wound model to evaluate any effects of a hypotonic, bicarbonate-calcium-magnesium mineral water (Comano thermal water) on skin regeneration, comparing the healing rate of split-thickness skin graft donor sites treated with the thermal water wet dressing versus a standard petrolatum gauze dressing versus a saline solution wet dressing. The study was performed in two steps; an overall of 22 animals were enrolled in the study. The wound healing progress was evaluated both by the surgeons and by the histologists. Sixty-four punch biopsies were examined in all. The histological samples were examined after staining with haematoxylin and eosin, Masson's and orcein staining and under a transmission electron microscope. The data were statistically analysed. The Comano thermal water proved to improve skin regeneration, not only by increasing keratinocyte proliferation and migration but also favourably modulating the regenerated collagen and elastic fibres in the dermis. We propose that the results of the topical treatment with the thermal water could be due to the favourable combination of a local wet environment with an anti-inflammatory action and that the regenerative properties of Comano thermal water observed in rabbits could also be applied for human use.