A new approach in the treatment of pediatric hypertrophic burn scars: Tixel-associated topical triamcinolone acetonide and 5-fluorouracil delivery

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Jan;19(1):131-134. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13192. Epub 2019 Oct 19.


Background: Pediatric hypertrophic burn scars are challenging to treat due to their widespread nature and pain associated with the treatment. Intralesional triamcinolone acetonide (TAC) injection with or without 5-fluorouracil (5FU) is considered first-line treatment for severe hypertrophic scars. The pain associated with the procedure, the uneven topography, and epidermal atrophy, all limit the application of this treatment modality.

Aims: We sought to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety profile of a novel thermomechanical system (Tixel, Novoxel) for transdermal delivery of a topical solution containing TAC and 5-FU in the treatment of hypertrophic scars.

Patients/methods: A retrospective study of pediatric hypertrophic burn scars treated between 2015 and 2017 was performed. Epidemiologic, treatment data, effectiveness score, and safety were reviewed.

Results: Four children (one male and three females, ages 3-10 years old) with hypertrophic burn scars treated with the Tixel device were evaluated. Mean scar VSS was reduced from 8.4 ± 0.8-5.2 ± 0.5 (P-value - .001) after eight treatments. The mean improvement of toughness, thickness, color, and general aesthetic impression was 3.1 ± 0.43 → 2.2 ± 0.31, 3.4 ± 0.5 → 1.9 ± 0.63, 2.7 ± 0.21 → 2.4 ± 0.25, and 3.23 ± 0.44 → 1.6 ± 0.64, respectively. Mean treatment pain VAS score was 1.74 ± 0.9. Patient's parents rated their satisfaction level as "moderate-high." No topical or systemic complications were observed.

Conclusion: Thermomechanical decomposition of the stratum corneum, in combination with topical application of TAC and 5-FU, is a safe, relatively painless, and efficient modality for the treatment of pediatric hypertrophic burn scars.

Keywords: Percutaneous permeating; Tixel; burn scars; fluorouracil; fractional skin ablation; hypertrophic; resurfacing; scar; transdermal drug delivery; triamcinolone.