Successful human scar regeneration by topical iodine: a case report: an interim (3.5 year) summary

Med Hypotheses. 2009 May;72(5):553-61. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.11.038. Epub 2009 Jan 24.


Control of regeneration and wound healing are scientific and clinical objectives. In 1997, topical Lugol's iodine solution applied daily for 3 days to a 50 year old facial scar lead to hyperemic scar tissue. As a working hypothesis, the author proposed topical iodine could initiate, control and complete human scar regeneration. In 2005, after collecting three more surgical scars, topical iodine applications began. Within 3 days all four scars started regenerating. Stopping topical iodine halted the process. Within a week an appropriate adult scar formed. Digital cameras recorded events. Regeneration is complex and slow. Its appearance depends on whether scar is covered with plastic or open. Iodine's chemical properties are discussed along with their reaction with epithelial cells. As there are no visible signs detectable changes from oral iodine on regeneration, details of iodine staining are more thoroughly described. Not all, but most important results are presented. Topical iodine induces hair growth in and around scars. Hair is regeneration's workhorse, moving purposefully in all directions under arrector pili muscle power delivering regenate material accurately to scar tissues and coordinating centers. In addition, hair repeatedly self amputates possibly strengthening regenerating tissues. Two types of regenate material show under plastic wrap: white and globular. The white regenate appears and behaves somewhat like snow, but can be yellow, green or brown depending iodine content. The globular form of regenate material maybe derived from white regenate material with hair's help. Globular regenate material is larger, nondescript, variable in size and color (depends on iodine content) and seemed usually associated with hair. There are two centrally placed coordinating centers 5 mm apart on major scars. Wrist centers have a palpable, but not visible ridge, between them whereas abdominal centers do not. Wrist centers lasted through all regeneration of the wrist scar, whereas abdominal centers were only present for about 18 months before falling off. This paper summarizes and adds to previous preliminary reports. The 50 year old scar regenerated completely 2 years ago. Small experiments on regeneration are possible because it is a slow process and more importantly can be stopped and started at will. These results support the proposed hypothesis topical iodine initiates, controls, and completes human scar regeneration.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Iodine / administration & dosage*
  • Regeneration


  • Iodine