People left with unsightly scars from injuries or surgery may soon be able to tone down their blemishes with a new drug, research suggests.

Tests indicate the drug, called avotermin, has the potential to reduce scarring when administered before a surgical operation or on existing scars.

The drug is injected under the skin at the site of the wound before and after an incision is made or surgery is carried out on an existing scar.

“Some people got a really dramatic effect, where the scar was almost imperceptible,” said Professor Mark Ferguson, from the University of Manchester.

“We had to tattoo temporary markers to either end of the cut because 12 months later we couldn’t see where the scar was. If the drug continues to work and be approved it could be used in surgeries, following trauma and burns, from road traffic accidents to elective surgery and cosmetic procedures.”

Test results are published in the medical journal The Lancet.

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