Effect of reactive skin decontamination lotion on skin wound healing in laboratory rats

Thomas J Walters, David S Kauvar, Joanna Reeder, David G Baer
Military Medicine 2007, 172 (3): 318-21
Reactive skin decontamination lotion (RSDL) is a proposed replacement for the existing skin and equipment decontamination kit. Because RSDL may need to be used to decontaminate wounded personnel, we conducted an assessment of the effect of this agent on wound healing. A skin incision model using male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 19 rats/group) was used. A 7.0-cm incision was made through the skin, and RSDL was (experimental group) or was not (control group) applied to the open wound; the wound edges were then approximated with sutures. Seven days later, animals were euthanized and wound samples were taken. Healing was assessed by measuring mechanical strength, collagen content, and histological appearance. RSDL-treated wounds had 23% lower tensile strength (p < 0.05) and 11% lower collagen content (p < 0.05) than did the untreated control wounds. Histological assessments did not differ significantly between groups. The results of this investigation demonstrate that the application of RSDL directly to an open wound impairs wound strength and decreases collagen content in the early phases of wound healing. This may have clinical implications for the treatment and outcomes of chemical casualty combat trauma.

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