There’s an idea circulating among Australian doctors and nurses that patients can get sunburns and then heal with a treatment they’ve already been given, but the reality is that’s not the case.
In fact, researchers have been studying the possibility of sunburn treatments since the 1960s.
Now, researchers at the University of Sydney are taking their ideas to the international community.
And they have the backing of some of the world’s most prestigious medical organisations.
The Australian Government has invested $100,000 in the research to develop a treatment that could be used to treat sunburn patients in the United States.
“We’ve actually had a great response from people from all over the world, and there’s been a great amount of interest from different countries,” said Professor Peter O’Reilly from the School of Medicine at the university.
“So we’ve really been getting the interest from the international side and there are now a number of countries who have expressed interest.”
Professor O’ Reilly said the project has received support from the University’s Centre for Advanced Health Sciences.
“I think it is a really exciting and exciting idea, and it has the potential to be really helpful for people in the future,” he said.
“And it has a lot of potential to save lives and we think it could have a real impact in the longer term.”
Sunburn welters are a rare condition that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the skin.
“In the case of sunbeds, there’s also some damage to the immune system, so they have a more severe effect, but also a very mild effect,” said Dr Daniel Larkin from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“They tend to be more severe than if you’re exposed to an infectious agent.”
The sunburn treatment is the result of an experimental drug called alveolitin that is administered by injection.
“It’s essentially a combination of an anti-inflammatory drug and a vitamin that’s been put in the bloodstream of the patient,” Professor Larkin said.
This means it’s much more effective than the existing drugs that have been used to fight the condition.
“The anti-inflammatories that are being used are much more potent, so we think that this could have significant advantages,” he explained.
“This drug can be injected into the skin and the immune response is much less intense than if we’ve just had an injection.
So it can be administered with less adverse side effects.”
It’s a unique treatment, and doctors believe it could prove to be an effective way to help patients.
“Our patients don’t always get the best outcomes,” Professor O’Riley said.
“The patients are generally treated within an hour and have the least amount of pain.”
The drug has been tested on a number different animals, and the results have been positive in one of them, Dr Larkin added.
“When we have an animal that’s had this drug administered to them, we find it’s very effective,” he added.
Professor O, Reilly and Professor L have been developing the drug for the past two years and have developed it for the U.S. since they completed their research.
“There’s been quite a lot done in the U, but there’s no longer any money to go into the U,” Professor Reilly said.
Professor Larkin has also worked on a research project on vitamin D3 for sunburn.
“People tend to think vitamin D is not a very important nutrient, and vitamin D does a lot more than just regulate blood calcium, and this is what we want to know more about, but we also need to look at vitamin D’s role in bone health,” he continued.
“If we can develop a vitamin D-derived drug that we can use to reduce the severity of the disease, we can help people in more severe cases.”
Dr Larkin says he hopes the project will help change that perception.
“At the moment, people think that if they’re suffering from sunburn, it’s because of something that they’ve eaten or something they’ve taken,” he noted.
“That’s not what we know and what we’re looking at with this drug.”
Dr O’Connor says his team hopes to make it a more common treatment for people with sunburn and other inflammatory skin conditions.
“Now it’s becoming more common to see people in Australia who are diagnosed with sunburs, and that is a very real problem.”
Sunburn is a serious condition and there is no cure for it.
It can have severe effects on people, and we need to have a very good understanding of the underlying biology that underlies it and how it can affect the skin,” he concluded.