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Nasal septal perorations are notoriously difficult to close surgically and can be extremely symptomatic and debilitating for the patient. This paper describes the use of carvacrol (a monoterpene phenol of the family Lamiacaea which is often found in essential oils). It is a compound known to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-tumoural and anti-inflammatory effects, and so the authors sought to establish whether application to a damaged nasal septum would improve septal healing in an animal model. A small septal perforation was created in 21 rabbits, and the perforation treated with carvacrol, olive oil or nothing and the size of the perforation measured after 14 days, with histological examination of the perforation edges. The results were encouraging – the perforation size in the carvacrol group were statistically significantly smaller than the controls or olive oil group, and the tissue showed a higher density of connective tissue when examined histologically. Obviously more trials in human subjects will be required, but it seems this may be a promising adjunct in the treatment of a difficult clinical problem.

Topical administration of carvacrol improves healing in nasal septal perforation: an experimental animal study.
Kurnaz SC, Kuruca N, Güvenç D, et al.
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Joanna Stephens

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.

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