In Brazil, doctors are currently testing the use of fish skin as a form of treating serious burns. The fish in question is Tilapia. Sterilised, it works as an effective, less painful treatment of burns.
Prior to this testing, this skin was just discarded. However, Brazil have a severe shortage of animal, human or artificial alternatives to treat burns with. Therefore, burns were having to be bandaged with gauze and cream. This has to then be redressed and cleaned every day which is a very painful process for the patient.
Unlike this though, the Tilapia skin is applied to the burn areas, and does not need to be removed unless the burns are severe. One electrical supervisor recently trialled this method. He had suffered burns to his right arm whilst out on the job. Doctors treated these burns by applying Tilapia skin to the necessary areas.
He described: “even though I thought it was weird, the fact that he said it would take less time [to heal] and with less pain, I said, I’m up for anything, use whatever you want.”
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“The first night with the Tilapia skin, it was as if my body wouldn’t accept it. My arm started burning like it was on fire.”
“But afterwards, it was fine.”
“I didn’t take any antibiotics or pain medication.”
“At 13 days, it was already scarring over.
Apparently, the skin works by creating a barrier for potential outside contamination. Not only that, but the skin also helps prevent the loss of moisture and proteins from the wound too.
Researchers state that the skins are also environmentally beneficial and are cost effective. Therefore, they hope that this form of treatment will soon be entered into the NHS.
So what do you think? Would you give this a go? Let us know in the comments below.