Posted in blog on April 24, 2017
Burn injuries are not only extremely painful and often life-threatening, they can also result in permanent damage. Recovering from burn injuries often means facing nerve damage, motor function impairment, skin loss, and severe scarring. Thanks to advances in medical science and technology, several new treatments aim to restore hope to burn victims by reviving skin cells, restoring function, and removing scars.
A new experimental device known as the “SkinGun” uses a patient’s own skin cells to regrow damaged skin at the cellular level. RenovaCare is the New York based biotechnology company behind the SkinGun, and they report the SkinGun treatment process to be as natural as possible in implementation. The SkinGun’s CellMist System gently removes stem cells from about one square inch of healthy tissue and places them into a water-based solution. Once sprayed on the target area, the stems cells start growing new skin on a cellular scale. What’s more amazing is that the recovery time from the SkinGun treatment process appears to take only days.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the SkinGun, but the results of many successful experimental treatments and increasing support from burn trauma professionals in the medical community are encouraging its approval. In time, the SkinGun may become the preferred alternative to skin grafting, offering burn patients an easier recovery with more promising results.
Many severe burn scars are painful, thick, itchy, and make it difficult for the patient to move the injured body part effectively. The scar tissue at the burn injury site essentially constricts the surrounding skin, reducing flexibility and often leading to impaired motor functions. A recent breakthrough in laser technology releases this constricting tension and restores movement to burned areas.
Fractionated CO2 lasers have seen use for a decade and continue to provide relief to even previously healed scars. Several existing procedures use the CO2 lasers to alter the color and texture of scarred skin, offering patients restored function and less noticeable scars. Researchers hope to start using these lasers’ vaporization effects to insert stem cells directly into scars, encouraging natural skin regrowth.
While it may seem bizarre, a successful treatment using scales from tilapia fish may offer a new solution to burn injuries. Maria Ines Candido da Silva, of Brazil, recently suffered severe wounds from a gas canister explosion. She endured second-degree burn injuries on her face, neck, and arms. During her initial recovery, the wounds were extremely painful and made it very difficult to move. Maria’s physicians recommended placing tilapia scales on the wounds as an alternative to more painful traditional treatment options. She reported very quick relief and was happy to discover the fish scales did not carry any scent from their previous owners.
Medical technologies often cost quite a bit to research, approve, and manufacture, leading to much higher patient costs. One of the most promising aspects of this tilapia scale treatment is that the raw materials are easily sustainable. Human skin banks house donated skin grafts, but grafting is an intricate and expensive process. Tilapia scales offer better, more affordable results that can reach far more patients very soon.
These advances in burn injury treatment aim to help many burn patients recover more quickly and with far less pain than most existing recovery options. Burn injuries often entail significant psychological scarring in tandem with the physical wounds. In previous years, burn patients often faced permanent scarring and lost functionality. One of the most amazing aspects of the breakthrough technologies we’ve seen is that they not only help with immediate burn trauma care, but may also help heal long-standing scars as well.
If you need help fighting for medical expenses associated with burn injury treatments, contact our California burn injury attorneys for a free consultation.