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Ask Dr. Mike: Acne Inversa, Treating CIDP & IGF for Wound Healing

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

In a previous "Ask Dr. Mike" segment, you forgot to mention growth factors like IGF for wound healing. Can you cover these please?

Depending on how deep you cut yourself, you should start to see your wound heal slowly as the days pass. However, if it's not, you may have to reevaluate your approach to wound healing. For example, recently Dr. Mike discussed the the most important things to help wound healing. These included calories, carbohydrates, fats, vitamin A, vitamin C, proteins, zinc, and water.

However, there are also hormones and growth factors like IGF that also play a role in helping your body regenerate. There are so many different types that you can check out in supplement form.

I have acne inversa. I read that there's a new drug to help; have you heard of this?

Acne inversa is an inverted pimple on the inside of your skin that is extremely painful. Usually, these occur under the armpits and groin, and there isn't that much you can do to treat them. Dr. Mike hasn't heard much about a drug to help treat this condition. However, he did find a company, Cellceutix, that is meeting with the FDA on the new drug for acne inversa, but nothing on the drug itself.

Is there anything on the rise for treating CIDP?

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIPD) causes a lot of pain due to trauma or infection. Dr. Mike recommends anything with phosphocholine.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.


RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: May 27, 2015

RadioMD. It's time to ask Dr. Mike. Do you have a question about your health? Dr. Mike can answer your questions. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call now 877-711-5211. The lines are open.

DR MIKE: Alright. So, recently, I answered some questions about wound healing and a listener named Mike, I think he's a little upset. It's okay. I got you Mike. I have some information for you. He emailed me and said, "You forgot to mention growth factors like IGF for wound healing. Could you review the research on these and then it goes dot, dot, dot please." Sorry, Mike. You're right. When it comes to wound healing, I talked about the importance of enough calories. I talked about proteins, fats, carbs, Vitamin C.

There's a whole bunch of ones I went into in answering some wound healing questions. There was another question about wound healing. Mike, if you remember, I talked about amino acids and aloe vera. But you're right, I did not talk about growth factors and also hormones involved in this like human growth hormone. Give me a chance here, Mike, to correct my mistake.

So, we are talking about chronic wounds. If you cut yourself, depending on how bad it is or how large the wound is every day you, should see improvement. There should be less pain, less redness, the wound should start to close little by little by little.

If it's not, the first thing you have to do is get it cleaned, make sure there's no infection in there. Then, you can do things like I mentioned: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, aloe vera, the right amount of fats. All this kind of stuff can help. Glucosamine was something I talked about. Alanine, glutamine--these are all important factors for helping wounds to heal if it's not really healing at a good pace. Mike brings up a good point.

There are these things called growth factors and growth hormones that really are...I think a better way of describing these types of compounds in the body is these are repair compounds. Let's just talk about growth hormone for a second.

When you are a child and/or adolescent and you are growing, there is this hormone that really dictates all of that growth and stimulates a lot of that metabolism. Next to thyroid, that is the growth hormone. Once you're done growing, growth hormone doesn't go away. It's still there.

It's just not helping you grow in the sense of getting taller and thicker and all that kind of stuff. Instead, it really becomes a hormone about repair and regeneration of healthy tissue. So, these growth factors, growth hormones are really repair and regeneration compounds and factors.

I'm glad Mike did bring this up. I don't want to get into the whole issue or debate of growth hormone injections. I will tell you that I've had some experience of injecting growth hormone into some bad joints, like in the knees. I'm definitely not an expert in it. I worked with some doctors who were and the results were awesome. I mean, amazing results with growth hormone injections. At least into a specific body part like a joint.

It makes sense – it's helping the body repair and regenerate. So, that is something to consider. There are doctors who specialize in growth hormone injections and applications for chronic wounds. If you have a chronic wound, you should reach out to those kinds of doctors and see what they have to offer.

But there are other things. You don't necessarily have to go right to that injection. There are things you can do. For instance, Mike and his questions mentions IGF. That's insulin-like growth factor. Insulin-like growth factor is connected to growth hormones. So, there are natural supplements, over the counter, oral supplements that you can take that boost IGF--Insulin-like growth factor compounds--that then can have an impact on growth hormone. There are over the counter supplements that you can do.

If you look at what these growth factors or repair and regeneration factors are doing in the body, they help to form new tissue called granulation tissue. They increase connective tissue production by creating new blood supplies which is very important.

They promote remodeling and growth of new skin and they help to attract protein and immune cells to come in there and fight the infection and clean the debris up so that the healing can occur.

The most common of these growth factors insulin-like growth factor, epidermal growth factor, the growth hormone. There's a whole array of these different types of growth factors that are available in supplement form that you could check out and see if they will work for you.

I wanted to mention this. In my answer previously, a listener asked a question about amino acids and wound healing and I had talked about arginine and glutamine which are important. There was another one that I left out that really falls more under this category of what you call growth factors and it's ornithine. Or, in a specific form of ornithine called ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG). Its two molecules of ornithine and one molecule of ketoglutaric acid. It promotes wound healing and protein synthesis within the wound itself.

There's a lot of good research evidence that the ornithine compound, glutamine and arginine--really those three can play a major role along with these other growth factors in healing a chronic wound. Mike, you are right. I should have talked about that and I just missed it. Thanks, Mike. I like when my listeners keep me on my toes.

Next question. "I have acne inversa – that's lumps under my armpits and groin. I read that a new drug is in development. Have you heard of this?"

I don't know of the new drug but I do know that acne inversa is exactly kind of what the name sounds like. It's kind of like a pimple on the inside. Have you ever had a pimple on the inside of your nose? Its red, it's painful but it's not necessarily one you can see. You can just kind of feel it.

That's what acne inversa is for people that have this condition. It usually does occur in the groin and under the arms. It can get real big. They can be small. They can cause some redness but they are painful, usually, to touch. There's really no treatment. I know that when it's really severe, they will do surgery and remove some of them. Then, when that happens there's an increased risk of too much wound healing, by the way, in the formation of what are called keloids which is a raised scar under the arm or groin and no one wants that. So, there really isn't much out there in treating acne inversa – these bumps under your arms and your groin. I did find there's a company called Cellceutix.

A very interesting company by the way. They focus a lot on rare diseases that kind of stuff. They have a new antibiotic that's coming out. I do know this company is meeting with the FDA. I just did some research and found their website. They are meeting with the FDA to talk about a potential treatment for acne inversa. But there wasn't any detailed information on what that drug was.

Real quickly, I think I have time for this.
"Is there anything on the horizon for treating CIDP – chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy?"

It's a big thing, a big word. That's a damage to the myelin sheath of a nerve. It causes a lot of pain. It might be related to reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It often follows trauma, past infections and that kind of stuff.

In many cases, it just happens. We don't know why. You might consider you have to replace that myelin sheath in this type of disease. This also might apply to M.S.

Ceramides – a type of fat for your skin may work there and anything with phosphorylcholine. Ceramides and phosphorylcholine make something called sphingolipids which is the pre-cursor to myelin sheath.

This is Healthy Talk on Radio M.D. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.