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Clinical Solutions In Practice

Oak Extract Is Key Ingredient In Wound Dressing

Can the natural oak extract Oakin™ enhance the healing properties of a wound dressing? AmeriGel Wound Dressing (AmerX Health Care), which contains Oakin, has received high marks from podiatrists for its ability to promote healing, especially following nail surgeries.
The company notes that AmeriGel Wound Dressing reduces wound bioburden through its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and assists in debridement. The dressing also reportedly balances the mix of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitory matrix proteins (TIMPs) in the wound matrix, stimulating fibroblastic activity and healing. In utilizing the AmeriGel Wound Dressing, podiatrists can treat a variety of wounds including diabetic ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, first- and second-degree burns, and post-surgical incisions, according to the company.
“I have been using the product since it first became available,” notes Molly Judge, DPM. “It has literally changed the way that I manage uncomplicated wounds that present in my office. It seems to encourage wound healing much better than what I have experienced with simple wet-to-dry dressings or antibiotic ointment regimens.”

What You Should Know About Oak Extract And MMP-2
AmeriGel skin and wound care products contain Oakin, an oak extract with natural tannins that have been proven to reduce infections and inflammation, according to AmerX Health Care.
For Dr. Judge’s patients undergoing chemical nail ablation, AmeriGel Wound Dressing “has cut weeks off the recovery time.” Dr. Judge also uses the product as a first line of defense to prevent the elevation of MMP-2 levels in the wound bed.
“It has been proven that high MMP-2 concentrations impair wound healing. I believe that if you were to biopsy the typical stagnant wound, you would find high concentrations of MMP-2,” emphasizes Dr. Judge, the Director of Clerkship Programs and Coordinator of Residency Selection at St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “The upside is that we have learned that oak extract actually reduces the concentrations of MMP-2 in the wound bed and can essentially jump-start what was a slow healing or stagnant wound.”
Dr. Judge also cites AmeriGel’s proven efficacy against methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and wounds with multiple drug resistant strains.
“I believe it has kept some of my patients out of the woods from developing common bacterial infections that often complicate healing,” says Dr. Judge.

Is AmeriGel Easy To Use?
In addition to the effectiveness of the product, Dr. Judge also cites AmeriGel’s affordability and ease of use as key benefits. “Since it is so easy to use – no more difficult than applying antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid – patient compliance is very high,” notes Dr. Judge, who has private practices in Lambertville, Mich. and Port Clinton, Ohio. “When the treatment plan is simple, clinical progress is generally more predictable than when you are attempting to use some other, more complicated or labor intense form of therapy. ”
In fact, Dr. Judge can think of no negatives associated with the product except for the possibility of an allergic reaction in a patient sensitive to oak extract.
“Anyone who has a known allergy to oak extract would be predicted to have a problem with this product but so far I haven’t run into a (patient who has had this reaction),” adds Dr. Judge.

Ms. Garthwait is a freelance writer who lives in Downingtown, Pa.

Clinical Solutions In Practice
Robi Garthwait, Contributing Editor
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