Incidence of hypertrophic scars among African Americans linked to vitamin D-3 metabolism?

Gerald L. Cooke, Anna Chien, Amy Brodsky, Raphael C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis and progression of wound-healing involve intricate pathways and numerous chemical mediators. This remains an area of intense study as undesirable results of this process, such as hypertrophic scars and keloids, can result in significant morbidity. These lesions are distinct in their characteristics, although they are similar in their distribution in patients with darker skin colors. There is a robust inflammatory mechanism behind the formation of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Furthermore, their development may be intimately related to vitamin D-3, which has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This chemical is made in the skin, whose production is influenced by various factors of which the amount of melanin is a crucial one. More specifically, an increase in pigmentation has been shown to decrease the amount of vitamin D-3 synthesis in the skin. Thus, this paper proposes the hypothesis linking the propensity of inflammation and subsequent scarring in darker-skinned individuals to the reduced levels of vitamin D-3 production in their skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1009
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloid
  • Melanin
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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