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Tilapia Skin and Other Burn Treatment Techniques

Posted January 2019 by Biodermis
One of the greatest challenges to burn management is how to treat burn patients without causing them more pain. Depending on the degree of the burn, severe pain is often associated with the onset of chemical, fire, or frost trauma. Patients with severe burns are often physically debilitated and require immediate medical attention by a physician. Patient care and medical technology are always progressing and burn treatment is no exception. If you or someone you know has endured severe burn trauma, it’s good to know what options for burn management may be presented to you in the hospital.

Continue reading to learn more about burn treatment options and what you can do to prevent excessive scarring from severe burns.

Scoliosis surgery

Tilapia skin for burns

The use of tilapia skin to help burn victims heal more quickly is gaining popularity among doctors in Brazil. The skin of this abundant farm fish is a low-cost and effective form of treatment that seems to be a viable alternative to more traditional methods. Before it can be used on a patient, tilapia skin must go through a sterilization process that removes germs and smells. The skin can then be applied directly to the burn site like a bandage. It helps to soothe pain and reduce healing time by several days. While tilapia skin is still in the experimental stage of medical use, doctors claim it holds high levels of moisture and type I collagen protein found in human skin. These factors facilitate the skin’s natural wound healing response, making tilapia skin attractive to patients and doctors.

Traditionally, gauze bandages and human donor skin have been used to treat burn patients. But because these options are often expensive, and sometimes unviable, tilapia skin has become a viable alternative. Hopefully, with more clinical research, tilapia skin will be used by doctors in other parts of the world.

Skin grafts

A skin graft is a term you may have heard before but didn’t know that it was a commonly-used treatment for burn patients. During a skin graft, a doctor will extract a thin layer of skin from another part of the patient’s body and place it over the burn site. The layer of skin will be situated on the burn with surgical staples or stitches to hold it in place. During the entire skin graft process, the patient will be under anesthesia so he or she won’t feel any pain. After several days, the skin graft will begin to form new skin over the wound site. The downfall with skin grafts is that, the larger the burn area, the larger the portion of healthy skin must be extracted from the patient. If the burn area is too great a size, there won’t be enough healthy skin left to form a complete graft.

Synthetic pigskin

If a patient has had burns on a significant portion of his or her body, there won’t be enough healthy skin to use as a skin graft. In such a case, donor skin is the next best thing. The skin of genetically-modified pigs can be harvested by scientists and used to treat burn victims. The synthetic pigskin isn’t immediately rejected by the human body because they lack a specific molecule found in normal pigskin. Synthetic pigskin is durable and costs less than human donor skin. In most cases, pigskin can be used to treat patients for up to two weeks after the initial application. Pain management and reduced healing time are two objectives doctors aim for when using pigskins for burns and the results have been generally favorable.

Silicone for scars

Silicone for scar management

Topical silicone gel for scar management won’t help burns heal more quickly, but it will help to reduced scarring after a first or second degree burn. Silicone gel has been the gold standard in topical scar management for over thirty years. With numerous clinical studies to support the efficacy and safety of topical silicone, surgeons and dermatologists can feel condfident recommending silicone as part of their patients’ post-operative care regimen. The way topical silicone works is through the mechanisms of dermal hydration and collagen regulation. When the skin undergoes trauma it loses excessive amounts of moisture. When this happens, specialized skin cells work overtime to repair the wound with a structural protein called collagen. Collagen production is part of a healthy wound-repair response; but if left unchecked, it can buildup and lead to abnormal scar types. With the help of topical silicone, moisture will be preserved at the wound site and collagen synthesis scaled back to normal levels.


Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: REFER OR RESELL?

Biodermis offers custom tailored referral programs designed to simplify and reduce the cost of your patients' post-op care. Additionally, we offer professional pricing if you opt to retail our products. Give us a call at 800.322.3729, and we will be happy to provide additional details on these programs.

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