Since the beginnings of wound care, skin substitutes have been used to repair and resolve acute and chronic wounds. Skin is the largest organ in the human body, consisting of epidermis (upper) and dermis (lower) skin layers. Skin is the most vulnerable to injury and damage since it is in direct and frequent contact with the outer world. In many cases of skin wounds, thus, a replacement is required.
Who Should Use Skin Substitutes?
Skin substitutes are primarily employed in burn patients with superficial, partial, and deep burn wounds, as well as other chronic and non-healing wounds and donor skin graft locations.
Types of Skin Substitutes
Skin substitutes are used to help close wounds, manage pain, and replace skin function in order to improve wound healing. Temporary or permanent skin substitutes are available:
- Temporary replacements are used as a short-term wound covering to shield the wound region from external dangers (such as bacterial contamination or external damage) and to offer a clean, healthy, and moist environment for wound healing. After three to four weeks, it is normally removed. There are many categories of replacement skin substitutes, including natural substitutes made from human or bovine skin or membranes and synthetic substitutes that can be customized for to meet the needs of each situation.
- Permanent skin substitutes are used to replace the whole thickness of skin layers and permanently improve the quality of skin at wound and burn sites.
Benefits of Skin Substitutes
Skin Substitutes have multiple benefits. Skin replacements have been found to speed wound healing while reducing infection and dehydration risks. Additionally, skin replacements are more visually appealing and provide wound sites with better functionality and flexibility.
Wound healing with skin substitutes is dependent on the wound site, size, depth, medical history, and overall state of the patient. Each patient is different, wound healing at times may takes weeks or month as well as regain adequate function and flexibility.