Brazillian doctors are taking an experimental approach to treating burns: using tilapia skin!! 🐟
The doctors wrapped a child's burnt skin with sterilised tilapia fish skin.
Tilapia skin has non-infectious microbiota, high amounts of type I collagen, and similar morphological structure to human skin, so it has been suggested as a potential xenograft for the management of burn wounds.
Normally in burn victims, doctors use sulfur sulphadiazine, which is a substance that heals wounds usually within 2 weeks. But there is a downside to this treatment, as the dressings and bandages must be changed daily to keep the wounds clean. Also, the patient has to take anesthetic showers using anti-bacterial soap in order to prevent the wounds from emitting a bad odor. Many patients who go for this treatment, take painkillers to cope with the whole procedure.
The tilapia skin is applied directly onto the burned area and covered with a bandage, without the need for any cream. After about 10 days, doctors remove the bandage. The tilapia skin, which has dried out and loosened from the burn, can be peeled away.
The tilapia skin treatment is more effective than bandages that need to be changed every two days.
It can speed up healing by several days and reduces the need for pain medication.
The fish skin has high levels of collagen type 1, stays moist longer than gauze, and does not need to be changed frequently.
It is cheaper, simpler, and inspired by nature.