Scars from wounds can have a devastating effect on the body and mind. Now, researchers have found a way to heal the scars.

When a part of the body is wounded, ATP (a molecule that transmits energy within cells) is released at the site. This ATP is then converted to adenosine that helps in healing the injury. Sometimes adenosine is produced even after the injury is healed, thus scarring occurs at the site. Researchers were able to prevent scar formation by applying agents that block adenosine.

"Scars can be disfiguring and, if extensive enough, can lead to diminished function and quality of life. We hope that our findings may lead to new agents that diminish scarring and disfigurement following burns, wounds, or even illnesses that destroy skin and lead to a better quality of life for victims of these traumas," said Dr. Bruce N. Cronstein, a researcher involved in the study from the Division of Translational Medicine in the Department of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine in New York.

In the present study, researchers tested the efficacy of adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in healing scars in animal models. They found that excessive scar formation was stopped when the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist was applied on the mice's wounds.

Previous studies have shown scars can be prevented from developing by applying a growth factor called TGFβ3. Scars pose a huge medical problem, about 100 million people get scars each year.

"The vast majority of scars are hardly noticeable, if they can be seen at all but for some, scars can severely disfigure not only the body, but the mind. Finding ways to prevent scarring after wounds or surgery has the potential to improve the quality of life for those who suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, now and for generations to come," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "

The study is published in the journal FASEB.