Tilapia Fish Skin Could Be Next Big Cure for Burn Victims
A unique skin product for healing badly burned victims is being studied in Brazil. The experiment was a fluke occurrence. Pigskin and human tissue typically help to treat burns because they have collagen protein that helps promote healing. Unfortunately for Doctors in Fortaleza Brazil, they do not have access to these tissues in a timely manner. Without having the supplies needed to treat the burns, the doctors have to use gauze and anti-infection creams. The bandages have to be changed out constantly to prevent infections which causes much pain to the patient. This is what leads to researchers discovering tilapia fish skin to use as a bandage for severe burns.
How Tilapia Fish Skin Helps With Burns
The Jose Frota institute started working on a solution to their skin tissue availability problem and searched to find access to a more reliable option. One thing Brazil has plenty of access to is fish. The institute did a test on tilapia fish skins that are prevalent and easy to obtain via rivers and fish farms. They discovered that the fish skin had more of type 1 and type 3 collagen in it than the other normally used skins. These two types of collagen are an important factor in healing scar tissue.
To make the fish skin bandage, the skin has to go through a few steps to sterilize it. The first sterilization step uses Chlorhexidine which is an antiseptic. Then the skin is washed in Glycerol. Another company then uses radio sterilization to complete the process.
There are many benefits to using the sterile tilapia fish skin. Patients are healing much faster than the current bandage. It can take up to 6 months for burns to heal. Patients are seeing results with the tilapia bandage in as quick as 13 weeks! The fish skin also stays moist longer than gauze. It is also more cost-effective because the fish is more available.