There’s a new technology that could make healing easier and less painful for people with skin damage. Burn victims or people with skin wounds could soon have a great healing option. An artificial-skin product has passed initial tests with flying colors!
In the U.S., there are around 2.4 million burn injuries every year. And those are just the reported cases. Of that number, 20,000 are severely burned. This means that at least 25% of their body surface is burned. Every year, many people also suffer from other skin injuries, such as cuts and abrasions, or have surgery that requires the cutting of skin tissue.
When skin tissue is lost or severely damaged due to surgery, disease, injury, or burn, the current medical treatment is the skin graft. Skin grafting involves using tissue from a donor (human or animal) or from the patient to replace damaged skin. The removal of skin to use as a replacement can be painful and requires more healing.
So, what is this new potential treatment, exactly? “ICX- SKN” is a revolutionary skin-graft replacement. It’s a living skin. It’s made of up of fibrin and fibroblasts. Fibrin is a natural protein that assists in your natural wound healing. Fibroblasts are the cells that produce collagen in the skin that you were born with. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its structure. ICX-SKN is a unique method meant to replace skin grafting. Other products have been tried, but they didn’t last long enough for full healing.
How does it work? The artificial skin is placed into the damaged area. There, it is supposed to act like regular skin, interweaving with the existing skin around the wound to repair the damage.
The researchers who developed ICX-SKN recently tested its effectiveness in a study. Six healthy women were recruited for the test. The researchers cut sections of skin from each volunteer to create wounds. They then placed the ICX-SKN skin graft into the wound area. The wounds were dressed and left for up to 28 days. Within those 28 days, the researchers found that all of the wounds had healed successfully. The artificial skin had integrated with the skin around the wound. Plus, new skin cells had been created. There were no serious side effects with the skin implantation. Even better, the scarring in the patients with the artificial skin graft was minimal.
So, let’s review: a safe procedure, no additional pain (other than the pain of the original wound), fast and effective healing, and very little scarring. Sounds like the ICX-SKN skin graft gets a thumbs-up for wound healing! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is a preliminary study. The researchers plan to test the artificial skin on people with more serious and larger wounds.