Scar wars: implications of fetal wound healing for the pediatric burn patient

Pediatr Surg Int. 1997 Sep;12(7):484-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01258707.


Scar formation and fibrosis often cause devastating disabilities in children suffering severe burn injury. In contrast to the child, the fetus has the ability to heal skin injury without scar formation, and instead with regeneration of epithelial and mesenchymal tissues and restoration of normal skin architecture. In this paper we review those unique features of the fetus and fetal wound healing that may contribute to the scarless repair process. It is hoped that an understanding of these remarkable reparative capabilities may lead to the development of new wound healing therapies that reduce or prevent scar formation and fibrosis in the management of children with burns.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Burns / physiopathology
  • Burns / surgery*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Child
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control*
  • Collagen / physiology
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / physiology
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Collagen